Wareham Selectmen say town public safety complex plans are on hold
Plans for a new Wareham Fire Department station, that had the potential to become a public safety complex, are on hold for the time being, Selectman Alan Slavin announced on Tuesday.
Under discussion for the past five years, the project called for consolidating the fire station and buildings used by the Wareham Water Department on a property across the street from the Rosebrook Event Center on Cranberry Highway. Until recently, there was an agreement in place to purchase the land by Wareham Fire District officials.
Slavin said preliminary talks envisioned a partnership between town officials and the water district, which operates independently of the Town of Wareham, for a building that could house the police department, EMS, fire and the harbormaster’s office
Wareham Fire District Prudential Committee Chair George Barrett confirmed that a $1.2 million offer had been made on the property. However, due to restrictions on the land and expenses associated with a recently approved, $12.5 million water treatment plant for the district, the deal was not finalized, Barrett said.
“In light of the financial impact of the water treatment plant, we felt it best to not tie up the property any longer,” said Barrett.
Funds for the land were approved two years ago at district meeting. Barrett said while the current property deal is off the table, the Prudential Committee will continue to work to find space for a new fire department.
“The needs of the fire department will continue to increase, and we’re hoping to consolidate two or three buildings into one,” said Barrett. “That plan remains the same.”
Regarding a combined public safety complex, Barrett said it was too soon to say if that would become a reality without more research.
“We didn’t get that far into the design,” he said. “It would depend on the needs of the entities and how much square footage was available.”
Slavin said he expects that in three to five years, the idea will be considered again and the town will seek a grant. He suggested looking into repurposing Minot Forest Elementary School if the elementary school is no longer in that location. Officials are currently exploring options for a new school at several locations in town.