HINSDALE, N.H. -- The town has acquired the final piece of property needed to build a new police station and officials hope to have the structure standing by the end of 2014.
Town Administrator Jill Collins said Hinsdale purchased 12 Main St. for $38,000 on Wednesday, Oct. 2. She told the Reformer the property was owned by Keene resident Penny Bell and was once home to a veterinary clinic.
Lewis Major owned the building at 8-10 Main St., which housed a convenience store run by Nafiz Alkhatib, and donated it to the town after it was severely damaged in a two-alarm fire in August 2012. Major and his wife decided to give the land to Hinsdale, knowing the town was in need of a new police station. The Hinsdale Police Department has operated out of a temporary facility on River Road since 1985, according to Mike Darcy, the chairman of the town's Board of Selectmen. Major's former property came under Hinsdale's ownership in December.
Now that the town has all the necessary property, Collins said demolition by Triple T Trucking should be completed by the end of the month or early November. She said construction is expected to begin in the spring and could be finished by the end of 2014.
Collins told the Reformer that asbestos tiles will have to be removed from 8 Main St. and asbestos piping must be taken out from both 8 and 12 Main St. She said the town has not yet received an environmental report from Catamount Environmental Inc.
Hinsdale officials initially planned to purchase the property at 12 Main St. in July but the plan hit a snag due to 1909 court case that made it unclear where the boundary line was. But Bell, and Andrew Shapiro, owner of 14 Main St., signed an agreement in late September to establish a new line.
Collins said it is exciting to have the project in its final stages.
Darcy told the Reformer he is relieved to be one step closer to having a new police station.
"It's nice," he said. "This has really been on the table for the last 30 years."
Hinsdale voters at the 2013 Town Meeting approved of $1,087,636 to develop a new station. The article, voted on by paper ballot, passed by a 155-65 margin, thus surpassing the three-fifths majority needed for approval by eight votes. Of that seven-figure sum, $75,000 will come from the Expendable Trust set up for the purpose of building a new police station and $239,636 will be taken from the Wal-Mart Development Agreement Fund.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.