Norwell: Special Town Meeting rejects new police station – approves historic Stetson House move

Norwell held their Special Town Meeting Monday night and focused on a controversial article to appropriating funds for a debt exclusion override to build a new $5.1 million police station, as an addition to the current fire station.

The final vote was 162 against to 88 votes in favor of the proposal – only about 5 votes shy of the 2/3 needed.

Norwell resident Paul Mulligan expressed concerns that selectmen have yet to determine how much an override to bolster the schools will cost next year, added to the $5 million for a new police station.

“What is the police station going to cost and what is the school override going to cost, which is only about 6 months away? You haven’t come up with a sufficient answer. You have to have some kind of a ballpark figure – you have to – otherwise you’re not doing your jobs!” Mulligan said.

Although town meeting did not appropriate funds for the police station, the override election is still on for next Saturday, December 3. Norwell Town Administrator Jim Boudreau says if the override fails, then the project is dead. But if it’s approved, then town meeting could come back again next spring to appropriate the funding.

Boudreau said, “Town meeting appropriates the funds, then the election authorizes the raising of the debt ceiling. So, the election still takes place in two weeks. If that fails, then the project is basically dead and at that point, we’ll have to come back with something new. If it passes, the town would have the option of taking it up again at another town meeting to vote for the appropriation. So, the election at this point is still important and people should still get out and vote.”

Town meeting also voted in favor of appropriating $35 thousand in Community Preservation funds to temporarily move the historic Samuel Stetson House to a cul-de-sac at the end of Stetson Shrine Road, to save the building from being demolished.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.