Public Safety Facility Building Committee Chosen
Kristen Arute, Hingham Current Staff, August 22, 2020
Future site of the proposed Public Safety Facility [Hingham Current File Photo / Kristen Arute]
On Tuesday night in another rapid-fire session similar to ones that Chair Mary Power has referred to as "procedural," the Board of Selectmen voted on their picks for the Public Safety Facility Building Committee. Both the Selectmen and the Town Moderator were charged with the task of filling the seats on this Committee from Talent Bank applications that had been submitted and subsequent screening that had been conducted through interviews with candidates.
The three members of the community whom the Selectmen chose for the Committee are Robert Garrity who is a former Chair of the Public Works Building Committee, Donna Smallwood who is a former chair of the Advisory Committee and currently sits on the Master Plan Committee and Andy Touchette who is an Associate Member of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). There were no other items on the agenda, and there was no opportunity for public comment. A motion to adjourn was offered up by Selectman Bill Ramsey immediately after the vote, and the meeting was over in under three minutes.
Town Moderator Michael Puzo was responsible for selecting four applicants from the Talent Bank for the Public Safety Facility Building Committee. He decided upon former Selectman and current ZBA member Paul Healey, Joseph Kelly, Tally Lauter who served on the Central Fire Station Building Committee and Bruce MacAloney of the Harbor Development Committee.
Initially Power thought the Committee might meet soon after last week's vote, and she instructed Assistant Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur to see that Committee members were notified of their new posts. "I believe there is some work that the Building Committee perhaps wants to get started on later in the week," she said, "so hopefully we can get those appointment letters out, and schedules will allow the Committee to begin." However, that didn't happen. Instead, the Committee will hold its first meeting on Monday, August 24th at 7:00 p.m.
The Committee has been charged with exploring the needs surrounding the construction of a new Public Safety Facility on the north side of Route 3A at the Hingham Shipyard. A Special Town Meeting is expected to take place this fall, and the Selectmen, with assistance from the Public Safety Facility Building Committee, will put forward a proposal for the design and construction of the facility. In a presentation to the Advisory Committee in April, the Selectmen estimated that the design and construction of what was referred to at the time as a "Public Safety Complex" would cost taxpayers $28M.