Center Fire Station project is priority for Town Meeting

Lowell Sun | By Kori Tuitt
April 20, 2017

TEWKSBURY — The Annual Town Meeting and Special Town Meeting in Tewksbury are set for May 1 and May 3, respectively and some major budget items will be up for a vote.

Town Manager Richard Montuori is recommending a $103 million budget for the fiscal 2018, up from the $100 million budget of fiscal 2017.

One of the most significant articles on this year’s Town Meeting Warrant is Article 15, which is looking to appropriate $15 million to construct a new Center Fire Station in town. The Center Fire Station project would raise the average tax bill in town by approximately $101 for the next 20 years.

“This is an important project for the community,” Fire Chief Michael Hazel said in an email. “The town continues to evolve and our services and infrastructure need to evolve with it. A new Center Fire Station will provide a facility that will take into account today’s fire service and the challenges we face as a department and community.”

The town has held a number presentations on the debt exclusion projects, with another one coming informational coming up just on the fire station on Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. Hazel said residents are also welcome to call 978-640-4410 to schedule a tour of the station. Hazel added that the building is outdated and expensive to maintain.

During the Annual Town Election, the project was only one of three debt exclusions on the ballot to pass.

DPW facility upgrades and the Town Center project were not approved during the election. However, Article 8 is looking to use $746,270 for capital equipment and improvements for the DPW, fire station and parks. Some of the equipment and improvements traffic sign and signal updates, an articulating asphalt roller and more. The Fire Department would get a new ambulance and equipment as well as a pickup truck.

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