Saturday August 3, 2013

HINSDALE, N.H. -- A snag in the process of developing a new police station for the town was cleared up this week, and the project is ready to move forward.

Longtime resident Lewis Major had owned the building at 8-10 Main St., which housed a convenience store and an apartment he rented out, but donated it to Hinsdale for the purposes of a new police station after it was severely damaged in a fire. The town badly needs a new station, as the police department has operated out of a temporary facility on River Road since the early 1980s, and taxpayers voted at Town Meeting to appropriate nearly $1.1 million for the project.

But Mike Darcy, chairman of the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen, said a minor roadblock was hit when town officials conducted a title search -- a process in which documents regarding a building's history are retrieved -- and found out the property line had been changed in the deed around 1909. This forced a meeting between the town and the building's abutters -- which include property owner Andy Shapiro -- to decide where to set a boundary and all parties agreed to keep it in the same spot.

The purchase of 12 Main St., which used to serve as a veterinary clinic, for $38,000 was supposed to occur in the first week of July but was put on hold until the matter was resolved. Darcy now says the town is just waiting for closing before demolition can begin.

Town officials plan to combine the land parcels to create a 0.53-acre lot for the new police station.

By adopting Article 2 of the Town Warrant in March, Hinsdale voters gave the town the OK to raise and appropriate $1,087,636 to build a new police station. Of that sum, $75,000 will come from the Expendable Trust set up for that purpose and $239,636 will be taken from the Wal-Mart Development Agreement Fund. The agreement fund, earmarked for public safety expenses, was set up following negotiations between the town and Walmart when the international retail giant built the Supercenter store on Route 119.

The vote also authorized the Selectmen to borrow a sum not to exceed $773,000 in bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act and to receive any federal or state grants that may become available. The article was recommended 4-1 by the Board of Selectmen and 7-2 by the town's budget committee. The article, voted on by paper ballot, passed by a 155-65 margin. It surpassed the three-fifths majority needed for approval by eight votes.

Darcy believes the building's demolition will be done by Triple-T Trucking. The design of the station was been drafted by architect Peter Tennant of Tennant/Wallace Architects, but Darcy did not know when construction might begin.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.