Nearly a year after residents approved a new public safety building, the town of Yarmouth is ready to move forward with the project. The joint police and fire facility will be located at 178 North Road. Courtesy / Town of Yarmouth

YARMOUTH — Nearly a year after voters approved an $8.5 million bond for a new public safety building on North Road, the Planning Board this week will review the preliminary design for the 27,186-square-foot project.

The board was scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, after the Forecaster’s print deadline.

Director of Planning and Development Alex Jaegerman on Tuesday said the board would likely not hold a final vote on the project until the end of the year.

Fire Chief Mike Robitaille said he hoped for an April 2020 groundbreaking, and that the project is then expected to take about 13 months to complete.

Yarmouth’s new public safety building will include five new equipment bays, along with offices and other operational space on the first floor. The second floor will provide housing for firefighters. Courtesy / Site Design Associates

Both Jaegerman and Robitaille said the future combined police and fire facility at 178 North Road won’t have much impact on traffic or noise. Other municipal facilities are located close by, including public works.

There already seems to be “good co-existence” between residential homes and the fire station currently at the site, Jaegerman said.

Community Services, which now operates out of a modular building in the parking lot at Town Hall, will take over the space now occupied by the Police Department, allowing Community Services to better accommodate its expanding staff and programs.

Robitaille said Tuesday that the proposed design hasn’t changed much from what was put before voters in November 2018. The town first began looking into combining police and fire in one building in 2017.

“We’ve not had to make any significant cuts or changes and the operational capacity is where we wanted it to be,” Robitaille said.

To make room for the new facility, Central Fire Station will be razed, according to civil engineering firm Site Design Associates.

The police station now located in the basement of Town Hall will be reused by Community Services, the design firm said.

Site Design Associates said the communication tower will remain, but an onsite memorial will be relocated.

The new public safety building will include several joint functions, including a reception lobby, a fitness center, and a training room.

The police amenities will include offices, evidence processing and storage, an armory, a patrol room, and a separate entrance for those in custody, according to Site Design Associates.

Fire department amenities will include administrative offices, five apparatus bays, a decontamination room, much-needed bunk rooms and a day room.

In a prior interview, Robitaille said the North Road fire station was initially built in 1976 and it was designed for “smaller apparatus.” Fire and emergency medical calls have increased substantially since that time as well, he added, to about 1,600 calls annually.

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