Plans For New Town Hall In Newbury Fail

Plans of new Town Hall with combined Police station arise on October 19th, Feedback from some  residents are not in favor for it.

Drawn up plans for the new town hall

Courtesy town of Newbury

Drawn up plans for the new town hall

Lydia Crowley, Staff Writer

Newbury, MA is a town of 7,079 people. The majority of voters  in Newbury are not too thrilled with recent plans of a new town hall with a combined police station. These plans are estimated to cost around $12 million. Some residents are not ready for the increased taxes on the town hall, yet some are in favor for the renovations.

The renovations of the town hall would include, new locker areas, places for interviews, more office space, a larger training room as well as meeting room, and a “sally port” which is an entry for a police cruiser to drive in who has a person in custody.

The Daily News
The town hall layout plans

On Tuesday, October 23rd, Newbury held a town meeting to come to a conclusion with these new renovations. 195 residents were in favor and 159 residents opposed. The committee did not reach its required two-thirds vote, which means the plans for a new Town Hall/ Police station had failed.

Residents are confused as to why they’re trying to put 12 million into a new town hall in the first place, when the Newbury Fire Station is in need renovations due to the fact that the station is currently too small for the new fire engines to fit in the station.

“This project wouldn’t be so expensive if the town had kept up with the current renovations they have said to do.” Juliette Lumley, a Newbury resident who is not in favor for the renovations also thinks, “They need to keep up with renovations projects in order to not have situations like this. We should be putting the money towards a new fire station because the current fire engines don’t even fit into station.”

The town hall in Newbury is said to have asbestos problems in the past, that need to be handled with sooner than later. Getting rid of the asbestos would partake in the funds of the renovation cost.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous and do not support it at all.” Elizabeth Eliot who is a Newbury resident, who is also not in favor for the renovations says, “Just because there’s asbestos and that they want to increase the size of the town hall doesn’t mean you need 12 million dollars to redo the whole town hall and police station as well as getting rid of asbestos.”

It’s clear that some people are not for this new renova

The Daily News
Drawn up plans for the new town hall

tion, but there still are people in favor for the new renovations because the building is in need of updated renovations as it is outdated.

“I’m all for it because my parents are for it, and I think we need it because our town hall is so tiny and Salisbury just got a big town hall, so why shouldn’t we?” Karoline Jacobs, a resident of Newbury who is in favor of the town hall renovations.

This topic is very back and forth in the town right now. As the residents of Newbury will be voting on Tuesday, November 6th on question 4, of whether or not they want the $12 million renovations to pass. If it does not pass voters will again be asked at another going back down to the original price for $6.5 million renovations. In 2017 they held a meeting for renovations at $6.5 million, but the building committee found the funds to not be enough for the renovations needed for the town hall.

Votes have been counted up, 2,532 residents were not in favor for the renovations, 1,445 were for the renovations. Which comes to the conclusion that the renovation plans will not go through as a majority of Newbury residents do not agree with the plans.