FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Answers You Need
WHY DOES THE TOWN NEED NEW FACILITIES FOR THE PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES?
Our community has grown significantly over the past century from when the original buildings were built--police station c 1930, fire station c 1907. Additionally, with the development of new equipment and the various public safety service calls to which they are required to respond, the current facilities are inadequate for the modern public safety missions.
WOULD THE NEW FACILITY HOUSE OTHER DEPARTMENTS FOR THE TOWN?
Currently our Public Safety Department is comprised of police, fire, emergency dispatch, emergency management, animal control, harbors & waterways, and shellfish. The assessment study includes all of the programming needs of these departments, and they would be housed in the new facility(s).
HOW DO YOU ENVISION A NEW IPSF IMPROVING SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY?
Our goal is a new facility that not only meets the town’s current needs but meets the needs for the future. We believe building a facility(s) to last 50+ years in anticipation of the future growth and needs is important at this moment. We believe it would provide easy access for our community and a safer place for citizens to get the help they need while also providing an environment whereby our public safety teams can work in concert in a coordinated manner when they need it for any emergency situation.
HAS THERE BEEN AN ASSESSMENT AROUND REFURBISHING/REHABILITATING THE CURRENT BUILDINGS?
Based on preliminary feedback from HKT, our architectural firm which has looked at site assessments, the current buildings and their sites would not support a renovation and/or expansion.
HOW WERE ASSESSMENTS MADE AND DOES IT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT FUTURE NEEDS FOR THE
COMMUNITY DUE TO GROWTH?
HKT walked each department through an extensive programming guide that takes into account
current usage, state and federal requirements, as well as future needs.
HAVE YOU ASSESSED THE BENEFITS OF A COMBINED IPSF OR INDIVIDUAL BUILDINGS?
Yes. There is an enormous cost saving when communications, technology, and emergency generator power needs are combined with space, services and utilities. With the intersection of both police and fire being more commonplace, we would also benefit from combining
meeting and training areas.
DOES THE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEED A CENTRAL/DOWNTOWN LOCATION?
As a mobile patrol force, the police do not require the same response time demands as the fire department, however a central location provides for a police presence for the general public. The Police and Fire Departments are often a source of information for directions for visitors,
and for licensing and permitting for our residents.
DOES THE FIRE DEPARTMENT NEED A CENTRAL/ DOWNTOWN LOCATION?
Appropriate response times to all areas of the town require a central location.
SHOULD WE WAIT FOR A DECISION ON THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FACILITY BEFORE TAKING ON AN IPSF?
We believe that from a financial perspective, with a view to other Town needs, and with respect for taxpayers, this is an ideal time to build a new public safety facility. The committee waited for the school building project to conclude. There has been no resubmission to the Massachusetts School Building Authority by the Ipswich Public Schools.
HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO KEEP THE TOWNSPEOPLE INFORMED AND ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC
Public forums, tours, community and neighborhood meetings are being planned. We will also be working with ICAM for video productions. We will post updates to the current Ipswich website. The public will be encouraged to participate.
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE ON THIS PROJECT?
Once we have determined the best solution to our Town's public safety facility needs, and chosen the site, we will work with HKT during this winter, and into spring, to develop a schematic building design and estimate the construction costs. At Spring Town Meeting we will
ask the voters to support funding for the architecture, engineering, and construction of the new facilities.
Do you have a question? Email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we can answer the question right away we will email back to you. If not we will address it at our next meeting and provide you answers after the meeting.