Frequently Asked Questions - St. Mark's Site/Land Swap Agreement

The questions that appear below are ones that the Committee frequently receives.  This page will be updated on a regular basis as we near the Special Town Meeting on March 8, 2017.

Date Last Updated: February 17, 2017

Does the site of the proposed Public Safety Facility land lock the remaining land for future use? Are there other points on the Golf Course that access could be obtained should future building occur for other town needs?

No, the facility does not land lock the remaining land for any foreseeable future use.Additional access points to the Golf Course could be created.

If a Public Safety Facility is built on the St. Mark’s Golf Course, could the remainder remain as a Golf Course?

The Committee has worked collaboratively with the St. Mark's Golf Course Master Plan Committee and residents trying to maintain the golf course after construction of a Public Safety Facility.  An initial drawing how the proposed Public Safety Facility can be integrated with the surrounding area (Choate Field/Woodward School), while maintaining golf operations is shown below.  It is important to note that this has been designed in a manner such that it does not impact the functionality of the proposed Public Safety Facility.

http://www.southboroughtown.com/sites/southboroughma/files/pages/site_pl...

What are the alternatives if Article 1 (Land Swap Agreement plus Public Safety Building Construction) does not pass to address the public safety facility needs?

There are NO sites central to the center of town that would accommodate a combined public safety facility.  Therefore, the likely result is that each department’s needs would need to be addressed separately.  Potential options include:

  1. Building a new Police Station on a separate piece of land and building the Fire Department in the current location.  Potential fallbacks to this solution are:

a) Additional cost for having two buildings (outlined below),

b) Potential land acquisition for Stand-Alone Police Station,

c) Additional time needed for design,

d) Potential environmental remediation on the current public safety site, and

e) The need to relocate the Fire Department for up to 18 months which adds significant cost (outlined below) and presents significant operational challenges

  1. Attempt to acquire additional land at the current public safety site to accommodate a combined facility.  Potential fallbacks to this solution are:

a) Land Acquisition Cost (cost unknown),

b) Possibility of Eminent Domain or extended negotiations,

c) Potential environmental remediation on the current public safety site, and

d) The need to relocate the Fire Department for up to 18 months which adds significant cost (outlined below) and presents significant operational challenges

The following is a list of potential additional costs should the town need to proceed with Option 1 above for purpose of satisfying the Public Safety Building Construction needs:

Additional Costs

Split Police and Fire (i..e no combined facility                                       $2,000,000

Land Acquisition Costs                                                                              Unknown

For every year that bid is postponed                                                         $750,000

Deferred Maintenance on Existing Facilities                                          $1,000,000

Fire Department Relocation                                                                        $500,00

For every $1 million added of project cost, it will cost the average taxpayer an extra $12 to $15 annually.

What will happen to the current Police and Fire Station if the St. Mark’s site is purchased?

The land will be owned by the St. Mark’s School and any decisions on the future use of the buildings or the overall site will be at their sole discretion.

Is the golf course deeded to not be built on?

Based on a review by Town Counsel, there are no restrictions to prohibit construction of any kind.

A detailed copy of this research is located here: http://www.southboroughtown.com/sites/southboroughma/files/pages/title_e...

Can we purchase a smaller portion of the golf course and not the entire 60 acres of land?

This is not part of the negotiated purchase and sale agreement between the Board of Selectmen and the St. Mark’s School.

How much noise and light pollution with the complex affect the community and surroundings?

Significant care has been taken in choosing the location on the St. Mark’s Golf Course to reduce any noise and light pollution.The building is proposed to be located in an area at the low point such that existing trees and grade can be used as a natural shield for the light.In addition, the garage bays will have no glass on the back side of the building to avoid light pollution into the neighborhood area.Overall, the building will be designed to a “Dark Sky” lighting standard.

Will there be a curb cut on the Latisquama Rd. side of the course for the complex?

The Committee is not envisioning any access onto Latisquama Road as part of its plans to construct a new Public Safety Facility.

How large will the proposed Public Safety Facility be compared to the Woodward School?

The Woodward School has a total gross square footage of 67,760. The proposed Public Safety Facility would be 36,624 gross square feet.