Brattleboro police relocation is official

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BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Police Department will now be relocating from the Municipal Center downtown to 62 Black Mountain Road.

"We're very relieved. We're very excited to go to the next phase of the project and hopefully we've addressed everyone's concerns," Brattleboro Police Chief Mike Fitzgerald told the Reformer following Select Board action on the matter. "We're going to do our best to alleviate those concerns."

A special Representative Town Meeting held earlier this month authorized this action and the funding necessary, said Town Manager Peter Elwell during the Select Board's reorganizational meeting Wednesday,

"There will be a number of implementation steps beginning next Tuesday," he said. "One thing that had greater urgency is asking you to formally authorize the option to purchase."

The decision to purchase the Reformer building had to be made by March 31 or the town would have to come up with an additional $10,000 to keep the building from being marketed. The town paid Alden Global Capital $20,000 in November for a purchase option agreement.

On Wednesday, Elwell was authorized to give $35,000 to the company which owns Digital First Media, the Reformer and several other newspapers around the United States. Altogether, the cost of the building and land is $720,000. The town and company have until Aug. 10 to close on the deal. The newspaper will remain as a tenant under the deal.

Elwell said an initial review made the building the best option. Altogether, the budgeted $4.2 million would go towards purchasing and upgrading the building. An environmental review will be made of the property along with inspection.

Reconfiguration of the building's design is part of the plan moving forward. The town has the right to back out for any reason, Elwell said.

"A lot of time and hard work went into this," said Fitzgerald. "Years and years."

Of course, he said, there is some sentimental attachment to the Municipal Center.

"My first day was here. I met a lot of good people here," he said. "This building has its own character that we're going to miss."

In other business, David Gartenstein will serve as Select Board chairman and Kate O'Connor will serve as vice chairwoman. Both held those positions previously.

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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