Private properties to be explored as locations for new police station

Nov 19, 2020

Land on Charge Pond Road or Cranberry Highway could become home to a new complex that would contain a police station, Wareham’s emergency medical service and other public safety agencies.

The committee decided two private properties had enough promise to warrant a visit: the Charge Pond Road property, located across the street from the Gleason Family YMCA, and a plot of land currently owned by Southcoast Health on Cranberry Highway, which is across from the Rosebrook Place Five Guys.

Members of the Public Safety Complex Study Committee discussed the potential of these private properties for the proposed public safety complex at a meeting on Nov. 19. Neither property is currently up for sale, so the committee would have to approach the owners to see if there is any interest in selling before any next steps are taken.

Although a number of large parcels were discussed, several were dismissed due to location (the public safety complex must be centrally located in town) or the presence of wetlands. 

Police Chief John Walcek said he thought the Charge Pond Road property, in particular, was worth a look, and Lt. Walter Correia agreed. Correia said he thought that location had 40 or 50 acres of land.

The committee also expressed continued interest in the town-owned Minot Avenue property and the John W. Decas Elementary School, which have previously been considered as locations for the public safety complex.

Committee chair Claire Smith said the committee evaluated properties in town — both privately owned and town owned — that were centrally located and at least about 8 acres large.

Even as the evaluation of locations remained ongoing, some members advocated for moving forward with the planning process for the public health complex. Smith said she thought upcoming committee meetings should be about putting together a request for proposals to have an engineer determine the potential spacial needs of the complex.

“I agree,” said committee member Paul Girard. “We’re kind of bogged down on location, but that doesn’t mean we can’t move forward with what we need. We might even have a better idea of a place that it would fit better, so let’s keep moving forward with other things than just location.”

In 2019, voters at the fall Town Meeting overwhelmingly approved spending $165,000 on a study to examine feasibility, an appraisal of the current station and site and potentially a preliminary design for the new complex.

The $165,000 came from the Municipal Facilities Stabilization Fund, which is made up of one quarter of the revenue the town receives from marijuana sales. Money in that fund will also be used to pay for the new complex.