Options for the new police station to get more exploration

Southborough Police Station

Reader Shubu Mukherjee recently commented on a story about the new police station, “I think this is great that we have so many passionate people working for the town’s interests.” That passion was in no short supply last night as the the Municipal Facilities Committee and Historical Commission met jointly at the request of the selectmen to forge a plan.

The discussion went on for three hours, but I’ll do you the favor of cutting to the chase. The Municipal Facilities Committee previously developed a plan for a one-story building to replace the existing police station. Since then, two other options have come to light: an addition/renovation scheme proposed by the Historical Commission and the purchase of property at 150 Cordaville Road.

The ultimate goal is to be able to do a reasonable comparison of all three options, but in order for that to happen, the addition/renovation scheme needs to be advanced, and a feasibility study of 150 Cordaville Road needs to be undertaken.

So, as best as I understand it, here’s what’s going to happen. The Historical Commission is going to work with Northborough architect Brian Baer, to further their plan. Baer has offered to provide his services at no cost. Meanwhile, the Municipal Facilities will work on a feasibility study for 150 Cordaville Road.

(As Shubu mentioned in his comment, there’s actually a fourth option on the table, the what-if-the-town-decides-to-do-nothing-and-we-have-to-stay-in-the-existing-building option. But that one didn’t come up at last night’s meeting.)

It’s looking less and less likely that you’ll actually have something to vote on at the special town meeting in September. More likely is that the committees will present reports to voters, but any decisions will be deferred to annual town meeting next April.

While they managed to come up with a plan for moving forward, what did not get resolved last night was the ongoing tension between the Historical Commission and the Municipal Facilities Committee.

There’s a lot of water under the bridge on this one, and what appears to be mutual distrust between the two groups. There were suggestions of a joint committee to continue the investigation of the addition/renovation plan, but that didn’t come to fruition.

“I see a lot of fiefdom going on,” Baer said. “My recommendation? Drop it. You’re acting on behalf of the town of Southborough.”

But at least for now, they’ll continue to act separately.

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