NORTHBOROUGH – Northborough’s fire station project is moving forward after the Board of Selectmen voted to accept the deed for the site of the new station.
“It is really good to get that step behind us,” said Chair Mitch Cohen during the Sept. 12 meeting. “Good luck at the closing.”
During Town Meeting in 2019, voters appropriated $3.5 million to acquire 61-65 West Main Street and 10 Monroe Street and pay for site costs, the services of an owner’s project manager and architectural services for the new fire station.
The quitclaim deed granted the town the West Main Street property for $1.15 million.
“I have to say, the town doing its due diligence saved us from potentially inheriting a very significant clean up,” said Town Administrator John Coderre.
He noted that the town structured the purchase and sale agreement for the property to require the seller to remove all structures and remediate the site.
According to Coderre, when the garage was removed there was an old tank that no one had been aware of.
“There was contamination unrelated to that tank we believe — a contamination of diesel fuel,” Coderre said.
The town hired a licensed site professional, who Coderre said watched the process on Northborough’s behalf and reviewed the documentation.
Remediation of the site has since been underway for the better part of a year.
Following the remediation, Coderre said the town was waiting for the seller to receive two quarters of completed groundwater testing, and the last quarter was completed at the end of July and early August.
“So finally, we believe we have a site that has been appropriately remediated,” Coderre said.
Further, the town’s licensed site professional has signed off and given the town his O.K. that he believed the site was “as cleaned up as it’s going to be,” Coderre said.
The Board of Selectmen approving and accepting the deed was a step that needed to take place in preparation of the final closing on the property.
Coderre projected that the town would close on 61-65 West Main Street on Sept. 20.
With the West Main Street property locked up for the Northborough Fire Station project, the town is now moving forward with a purchase and sale agreement for 10 Monroe Street, which is a property behind the future fire station site.
According to Coderre, the town felt there wasn’t a need to proceed with the Monroe Street property if the West Main Street parcel wasn’t viable.
“That’s progressing nicely,” Coderre said. “In fact, the individual who is selling has an offer that was accepted on another place. So, she’s quite anxious to wrap the deal up.”
This piece of property combined with 61-65 West Main would give the town enough area to allow for circulation through the site while also giving the town access to upper land for potential town uses, Coderre said.
He anticipated that this would return before the selectmen by the end of October.
Why the Northborough fire station project is needed
The Northborough Fire Department’s current station is located at 11 Pierce Street and was constructed in 1975.
Fire Chief David Parenti noted the changes to the fire department since the station was built. For example, now the department provides 24-hour coverage, and it has three ambulances and larger apparatuses.
“Our mission has gotten bigger,” he told the Community Advocate.