They say every vote counts, and at Norwell Town Meeting, the point couldn’t be better illustrated. The $5M station proposal for Norwell Police Department failed by only four votes at Monday night’s town meeting. The controversial project continues to spark debate in Norwell.
The Vote at Norwell Town Meeting
Residents in attendance of the Norwell Town Meeting on Monday night voted on the $5.1 million project which included the construction of a new 12,000-square-foot facility. The measure required a two-thirds approval by the small turn-out at town meeting. Voters appeared frustrated that proposed renovation costs of $3.3 million were relatively close to the initial new construction figure of $4.1 million. Now that the estimated cost of a new facility has surpassed $5 million, Norwell residents wonder if renovation is a more cost-effective approach.
The Future of the Norwell Police Station
With the current facility in need of renovations to bring it up to safety standards, Norwell faces a dilemma. Should the town approve the construction of a new facility or renovate the current building? There’s little debate the River Street structure is no longer functional for today’s police force. However, Norwell residents appear unsatisfied with the current proposals. Selectmen appear adamant about pushing the $5.1 million project through, but as witnessed last evening, voters are the ultimate decision-makers.
Another Chance for Norwell to Vote
Despite the project’s loss on Monday night, Norwell will move ahead with a ballot vote on December 3, 2011. Voters will decide on a property tax increase to pay for the police project. If that passes, the town will still need a two-thirds approval at the next town meeting likely in the spring. For or against it, be sure to cast your vote on December 3, 2011 and again at town meeting in the spring. Your vote, and your tax dollars, count toward Norwell’s future.