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Letter to Residents, Bill Taylor, Select Board Member

To the Residents of the Town of Peterborough,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Peterborough Select Board, Peterborough Fire and Rescue and Town Administration to address the very legitimate concerns surrounding our efforts to design and construct a new Fire and Ambulance facility. We acknowledge and share those concerns. Our current facility is outdated and quite frankly dangerous to the staff and volunteers that have dedicated their lives to protect ours. It is unsafe, inefficient, and does not meet the needs of the services they provide. We trust our Fire Department to run in to burning buildings when all others are running out, and provide emergency services and ambulance transport services that save lives. We need a new facility.

After a several months long effort to address the needs and scope of this project we have decided that in order to design and build a cost-effective facility, we must engage a design team to create plans that will allow us to apply for State and Federal funds and have a design which can be put out to bid to qualified construction firms. The needs of our Fire Department have been investigated for nearly 20 years and we have reached the point that we need to move forward. Without concrete plans none of this is possible. Our goal is to interview and select a qualified firm with experience in Fire Department design that will address our needs and work with us to assure that plans will be as efficient as possible while ensuring the safety of our first responders and allow for the most effective response times possible. To do this we must secure the funds to complete these designs in an effort to keep this project moving forward. The Select Board is 100% committed to this plan, and will continually stay engaged to make it happen while at the same time keeping the cost to a minimum. We have already begun to work with our State and Federal Representatives to secure as much funding as possible to help us reach our goals.

We acknowledge that it can seem as though we are not concerned with what our taxpayers wish to see happen, before I was on the Select Board I felt the same way. Now after almost 3 years serving on the Board I have come to know that this could not be further from the truth. After all, the three of us on the Board are taxpayers as well and want to see our tax dollars be spent in the most efficient manner possible. We, along with all of our department heads and Town Administration work tirelessly to ensure that this be the case. You have entrusted each of us to work on your behalf, we very much appreciate that trust and are asking that you continue to give us your support.

What we are asking for is your vote in favor of a 2 million dollar bond to get these designs completed. As a result of the American Rescue Plan Act, we have been granted about $700,000 and last summer we designated those funds to go towards the design and construction of a new Fire and Ambulance facility. We commit to you that we will use these funds towards this project, and will bond a maximum of 1.3 million dollars of the total of this 2 million dollar appropriation. We will present this request at Town Meeting on May 11, 2022 and very much need your vote in favor of moving this project forward. We commit to you all that this process will be open and transparent, and we ask that you continue to voice your concerns so that we may address them.

With respect,

Bill Taylor, on behalf of the Peterborough Select Board, Peterborough Fire and Rescue and Town Administration

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