Shrewsbury to hold Special Town Meeting Sept. 29 for new police station

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If measure passes, voters will be asked to approve $42 million in November  

By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – The  Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen have approved a Special Town Meeting (STM) to be held Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. at Shrewsbury High School, (64 Holden St.).There will only be one article on the warrant for Town Meeting members to vote on – to authorize borrowing for a new police station and renovations to the municipal campus located at 100 Maple Ave.

During the BOS’s Sept. 8 meeting, Town Manager Kevin Mizikar explained that this was the next critical capital improvement project for the town and as such, will be a debt exclusion.

“The borrowing amount is anticipated to be $42 million to fund improvements to both the police station and the town’s public safety radio system,” he said.

Approximately $5 million of the $42 million will be for the public radio system.

The project will benefit several departments withing the town including Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations (SELCO), Department of Public Works, Police and Fire, Mizikar said.

“So, this is really a multifaceted project with the centerpiece being the construction of a new police station to replace the 1972 police station,” he added.

If approved at the STM, the measure will then be presented to the voters on the Tuesday, Nov. 3 presidential election ballot.

“Our plan which we feel is completely safe is to hold the meeting inside within the high school field house with significant and appropriate social distancing for Town Meeting members. Given the fact that we are proposing a one Article Warrant…the meeting should be brief,” Mizikar stated.

The location within the high school has not yet been finalized but Mizikar reassured the Board that Town Meeting is exempt from certain restrictions under the State of Emergency issued by Governor Charlie Baker in March.

Selectman John Lebeaux inquired whether reducing the quorum would be considered.

Mizikar replied that it would be discussed at the Board’s September 22 meeting with the Town Moderator.