The Groton Board of Selectmen pushed the long-pending construction of a new central fire station forward on several fronts at its Monday evening meeting.
First, they approved and signed a purchase and sale agreement to buy 2.7 acres of land owned by the Lawrence Homestead Trust on Farmers Row for $350,000. Signing the P&S fulfills an article passed at Spring Town Meeting authorizing the town to negotiate the contract.
Town Manager Mark Haddad negotiated the contract, which has been signed by all five trustees of the trust. Selectman Peter Cunningham moved to approve the agreement. His motion was seconded by Selectman Anna Eliot and passed unanimously by all five selectmen.
The closing date is set for February 14, 2013, provided the project isn’t derailed by Fall Town Meeting passage of either of two citizen’s petition articles that would bar the construction of a fire station on the site. The P&S also hinges on Fall Town Meeting passage of two articles sponsored by the town that would extend the town sewer line to the site and to rezone the lot from residential-agricultural to public use.
The town would ask for funds to actually construct the fire station, currently planned to be about 18,000 square feet and to cost about $7.5 million, at a special town meeting in early 2013 that has yet to be scheduled.
The purchase of the portion of the Lawrence Homestead Trust’s 11 acre holding by the town would clear the way for subdivision of the remaining acreage into three buildable lots.
Later in the meeting, when the board went through the list of pending articles that will make up the Fall Town Meeting warrant, it unanimously voted to endorse and recommend passage of both the sewer extension and the rezoning articles. And also unanimously voted not to support either of the two citizen’s petition articles that would stop construction.