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Lee voters push forward new public-safety complex, public-works site

Town Administrator Christopher Brittain said Lee will need to obtain a bond to fund the project, followed by closings on the properties at 41 Railroad and 1185 Pleasant Streets, with the former to serve as the new public-safety site and the latter as the new DPW headquarters.

Lee — By an overwhelming margin of 267 votes to 148 votes, with 11 blank votes, Lee voters approved a ballot measure on May 14 that will put in motion a plan to create a new $36.7 million public-safety facility and Department of Public Works site.

In December, residents agreed to appropriate funds to design and construct a new 37,661-square-foot public-safety building, incorporating fire, police, and emergency services into a single structure. That structure will also include a community room to accommodate 75 to 100 people.

But the measure that passed—a state regulation exemption allowing bonds to be issued for the project—doesn’t mean the ground is ready to be broken yet.

Town Administrator Christopher Brittain said Lee will need to obtain a bond to fund the project, followed by closings on the properties at 41 Railroad and 1185 Pleasant Streets, with the former to serve as the new public-safety site and the latter as the new DPW headquarters. Additionally, the Railroad Street tract will be combined with the existing Airoldi, Quonset Hut, and DPW garage buildings that will be demolished.

The next steps will involve moving the DPW to Pleasant Street followed by the demolitions, Brittain said. A Reuse Committee will be established to determine the future of the historic central fire station.

“I am thrilled to see this project move forward and am proud to be a part of it,” Brittain said to The Berkshire Edge in an email. “It will have an immense positive impact now and for the future of Lee.”

With the remainder of the election measures uncontested, unofficial results include: Matthew D. Carlino reelected as moderator (363 votes, eight write-in, 55 blank votes); Robert “Bob” Howard Jones Jr. reelected to the Select Board (322 votes, nine write-in, 95 blank); Peter Michael Bluhm reelected to the Planning Board for a five-year term (326 votes, two write-in, 98 blank); Conrad R. Decker reelected to the Planning Board for a three-year term (320 votes, four write-in, 102 blank); Kirk Nichols (301 votes) and Craig T. Langlois (272 votes), with four write-in and 275 blank, reelected to the School Committee; and Richard B. Brittain (311 votes), Sandra Cozzaglio (280 votes), and Peter S. Warywoski (298 votes), with 16 write-in and 799 blank, reelected as constables.

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