Local Government and Politics, News, Police/Fire

Lynnfield voters head to the polls Tuesday to determine fate of proposed public safety complex

This article was published 9 months ago.

Lynnfield voters will determine the fate of a $63.5 million public safety buildings project on Tuesday in a special election. (John Scenna)

LYNNFIELD — The fate of the proposed $63.5 million public safety building project will be decided at a Special Town Election on Tuesday.

Voters will be asked to approve a debt exclusion to fund the project.

The project sailed through November’s Town Meeting by a margin of 287-33. It calls for the demolition of the South Lynnfield Fire Station and construction of a new fire headquarters in its place as well as expansion and revocation of the existing police, fire and Town Hall facility. 

Fire Chief Glenn Davis said while the Town Meeting support was overwhelming, there is more to be done to make the project a reality.

“I urge all Lynnfield residents to vote ‘yes’ on Tuesday,” he said. “I would like to personally thank all Lynnfield residents who overwhelmingly supported our public safety building project at our Fall Town Meeting, but want to remind all Lynnfield residents that the support at Town Meeting only allowed the project to proceed to a town-wide ballot on Dec. 6.”

Town Administrator Rob Dolan said the Town Meeting vote validated the town’s position that this project is needed to rectify “serious issues of health and safety for our police and fire personnel, equity for female officers as well as addressing space to accommodate the expanded scope of emergency responsibilities that our departments take on will all be addressed.”

“After years of careful planning and with the endorsement of the Select Board and the Finance Committee, the Public Safety Building Committee feels strongly that the proposal before the voters of Lynnfield on Tuesday represents the most complete and cost-effective solution to address serious and unsafe deficiencies in our public safety facilities,” said Dolan.

Davis, Dolan and Public Safety Building Committee Chair John Scenna said it’s now or never.

“It will never be cheaper than today,” Dolan said at the Town Meeting.

“There is no plan B,” Davis said. “I cannot continue to ask our dedicated men and women to work in these buildings and I am embarrassed to continue to recruit and try to retain members with our current conditions.

“I have been very open about the current deficiencies in our fire stations as well as the proposed solutions. Member safety –  due to cancer risk and exposure without any way to mitigate –  will not go away without new buildings.”

Scenna said “there’s never been a more economical time than now. With recessions, contractors often turn to projects in the public sector due to instability in the private sector. We might be able to capitalize on that and attract some larger contractors who will be more willing to come in here for 16-18 months.”

If approved on Dec. 6, construction is expected to begin sometime in 2024 with a completion date of 2026.

Voting will take place in the high school gymnasium. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Anne Marie Tobin can be reached at [email protected].


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