Raymond Community News
The Raymond Board of Selectmen is looking toward a 20-year bond request to fund a new police station. A decision on whether to choose a 15-year, 20-year or 25-year bond proposal is anticipated to be made at the selectmen’s Dec. 12 meeting.
Raymond Police Chief David Salois appeared at the Nov. 21 Board of Selectmen meeting to provide additional information about the police station proposal, which he said would provide a larger and more efficient facility for the Town. Last March, he submitted a report detailing the deficiencies of the current station, which houses both the Town’s fire and police at 1 Scribner Road, near Exit 4 of Route 101.
Salois is hosting an open house at the police station for tours on Nov. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. and again on Saturday, Dec. 3, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. During the tours, members of the building committee and the police department will show the public how the current facility is being used while highlighting space and safety concerns. The public is encouraged to ask as many questions as possible.
In addition to explaining the three options for a bond, Salois also discussed the choice of whether to pursue the bond as a level debt or level principal. In a level debt schedule, the combined annual amount of principal and interest payments remains relatively constant over the life of the bond. A level principal involves repaying the loan through a fixed number of fixed-amount monthly installments. While those payments are the same each month, they are apportioned unequally between interest and principal, with the major proportion going toward interest payments in the early years.
After hearing the financial information, the selectmen, while leaving things open for discussion before making a final decision Dec. 12, agreed that a 20-year bond using the level debt approach provided the best value for the Town. The board was adamant, however, that this is not etched in stone at this time.
A document of more than 100 pages provides information on all aspects of the proposed plan, and can be accessed on the Town website at www.raymondnh.gov and scrolling on the left side to Raymond Police and clicking on Police Committee Reports and Information and presentation PDF for Nov. 14.
The proposal calls for using Town-owned land adjacent to the current safety complex, thus eliminating the cost of buying land. The document includes a conceptual design for the proposed new building and layout for parking in the area between Cider Ferry and Manchester roads, adjacent to the present safety complex.
No decision has been made as to what would be done with the space occupied by the current police station.
Salois has said that safety issues in the current station include the absence of secure cells or a detention area and no juvenile holding area that meets the state-required sight and sound separation of juveniles from adults in custody. The station also lacks an impound area and adequate parking, and is too small for current use.
The price tag for the proposed two-story police station project is $6,800,000. Salois noted that delaying the project by a year will raise the cost by $408,000 to $7,208,000.
The selectmen said it appears the tax impact, depending on the actual bond interest rate when executed, would be in the 51- to 79-cent range per $1,000 of valuation. At the present bond interest rate of 3.99 percent for a 20-year bond, the tax impact using the level debt approach would be 69 cents per thousand, or $138 yearly on a $200,000 house.
Raymond Police Chief David Salois is making the case for building a new, larger and more efficient Police Station, and the Board of Selectmen has approved using Capital Reserve Fund money to pay for relevant needs assessments.
Last March Salois submitted a report detailing the deficiencies of the current building, part of the Raymond Public Safety Complex that houses both the Town's fire and police at 1 Scribner Road, near Exit 4 of Route 101.
The deficiency report listed more than a dozen areas of concern. Overall it states there is insufficient square footage for offices for the current staff and no way to expand. Locker rooms are inadequate and there are no interview rooms. The armory is a closet and there is no storage for equipment.
In addition there is no evidence processing area and the ventilation system creates potential contamination issues. The station lacks an impound area and the parking area is inadequate, he said, and the electrical system is inadequate and overtaxed.
Salois cited specific safety issues as well. The station contains no secure cells or detention area and there is no juvenile holding area that meets the state-required separation of sight and sound for juveniles from adults in custody. The lobby is not secured and can accommodate only two people, and the sally port has become a storage area for equipment and large evidence items.
The department today has 24 full-time employees and eight part-time employees, including a Communications Center that dispatches the town's emergency services and that of the Town of Fremont 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The present facility was built in 1990 when the Police Department staff totaled nine full-time officers, five full-time dispatchers and one support staff.
"It is obvious we have outgrown our building," Salois said.
The department sent out a Request for Proposal for a Police Facility Space Needs Assessment, and Salois told the Board of Selectmen on July 25 that he received 10 responses that were whittled down to five individual company presentations, each of which was interviewed over a two-day period the previous week.
A committee composed of Town Manager Craig Wheeler, Selectmen Jonathan Woods and Jack Barnes, Public Works Director Steve Brewer, Dispatch Supervisor William Wyner, Fire Chief Kevin Pratt and Salois reviewed the responses.
Salois sought approval of his committee's recommendation to engage not one but two companies to handle a Police Building Feasibility Assessment and general site evaluation and cost estimates. The spatial needs assessment is an essential part of the comprehensive planning approach to achieving a new police station but there is also the equally essential need to have the development of a comprehensive and complete build and design addressing the space needs, complete with total project cost estimates and schedule, he said.
Salois said the committee recommends the Selectmen approve retaining Harriman Associates, Architectural Services Business of Manchester to conduct the Space Needs Assessment, and Jewett Construction of Raymond to handle the construction build and design cost review.
Salois said Harriman is the best architectural firm for the assessment work, while Jewett Construction is the best in the market for design build and estimating costs.
The cost for the Harriman Space Needs Assessment is $14,900, while Jewett Construction’s costs would be $3,500.
To cover the cost of the two recommended firms, Salois requested approval to withdraw $18,500 from the Police Capital Reserve Dispatch and Vehicle Replacement Fund. He noted that the original estimated cost for this phase of the police station project had been $50,000 and the cost had come in significantly less.
The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved Salois’s recommendation for retaining both Harriman Associates and Jewett Construction and for withdrawing $18,500 from the Capital Reserve Fund to cover the cost.