Voters to decide Safety Complex completion

BROOKLINE – The completion of the police facility at the Safety Complex will be proposed as Warrant Article 2 at Brookline’s annual Town Meeting on March 14.

The Police Department occupies a portion of the basement of Town Hall, where it shares some areas used by other town services and functions.

This space has long been identified as inadequate to meet functional needs and security requirements for a police department, putting the town’s taxpayers at risk due to safety and liability issues.

The cost has been managed, at the direction of the Board of Selectmen so that the total bond burden for Brookline’s taxpayers will be no higher than it was in 2010. This is possible because the floor plan has been reduced from the 2008 plan, the costs of construction are down, bond rates are down, and other bonds are being retired.

With declining bond obligations, the first payment in 2013 is only $22 over 2012 bonded debt repayments, and those will continue to decline.

The cost to the owner of a $300,000 home would be approximately $54 a year, or about $1 per week.

The updated design will provide maximum safety and efficiency while reducing the significant liability risk posed by the current non-conforming facility.

The proposed structure will be fully used immediately and for the next 20 or more years, and provision has been made to expand economically if necessary. Meanwhile the upper floors of both facilities will be available for storage.

Minimal changes to the existing Ambulance facility will make the current 40-person meeting room available to the Police Department and to the public.

With the Safety Complex built in anticipation of the police addition, much of the infrastructure is already in place from the 2003-04 construction.

Moving the Police Department to its planned location would free up space at Town Hall, which is currently overflowing, is constrained to serious inefficiency, and provides no confidentiality.

For more information and a place to ask questions or offer comments, visit www.SafetyComplex 03033.com.

– Submitted by the Brookline Facilities Study Committee