BRATTLEBORO — Next month, the town will have new tenants in a building shared with the police station on Black Mountain Road.
At a special Select Board meeting Thursday where the new lease with Windham County Safe Space was approved, Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland said the Brattleboro Reformer moved out at the end of June.
“We had been in talks previously with Windham County Safe Space,” Moreland said. “They’re a really worthwhile organization that has a very formal partnership with the Brattleboro Police Department.”
The newspaper was purchased from New England Newspapers Inc. along with the Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal by Vermont News and Media LLC in May. The Reformer relocated to 70 Landmark Hill Drive, a building owned by Vermont News and Media LLC owner Paul Belogour, in July.
Moreland said Windham County Safe Space assists with interviewing and taking testimony from children who have suffered from physical or sexual abuse, working closely with the police department to get perpetrators prosecuted.
“From the inception of the report to the conclusion of prosecution, Safe Place supports survivors,” states a memo from Moreland. “Safe Place works with all necessary disciplines: states attorney, law enforcement, child protection, trauma-informed mental health clinicians and medical providers, victim advocates and forensic interviewers. This multi-disciplinary team is rooted in Safe Place as they are the responsible agency for all coordinated efforts.”
The lease for the 2,200 square feet of office space next to the police station lasts five years and includes an annual rent increase of 2 percent. The agreement calls for the town to contribute $4,500 for new flooring.
No rent will be paid for August and September. The first payment of $1,000 will be due in October with the regular monthly rate of about $1,833 starting the following month.
In a memo, Moreland said the town’s assessor’s office determined that a figure of $10 per square foot “falls directly within market rate rent space of this size and type in this post COVID-19 environment.”
Windham County Safe Space was previously based out of 112 Hardwood Way in Brattleboro, behind Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell on Putney Road. Moreland described the services provided by the group being “essential to the successful prosecution of those individuals that harm children in our community.”