Public Safety Building Committee requests ARPA funds from Select Board

Mar 5, 2024

ROCHESTER — A request to the Rochester Select Board for American Rescue Plan Act funds by the Public Safety Building Committee was likened to putting the cart before the horse. At the Monday, March 4 Rochester Select Board meeting, committee chair Arnie Johnson asked for the funds to hire an owner's project manager and further develop plans for the proposed public safety building.

Johnson said the committee needed someone with expertise and knowledge in certain areas, such as building codes, to take the project “to the next step.”

“We’re putting the cart before the horse here,” said Select Board member Bradford Morse. “We don’t have a project yet.”

A feasibility study previously determined the project to cost about $54 million, according to Johnson.

“If we would have gone to the voters with what that feasibility study said, they would have tarred and feathered us — it was way too expensive,” said Select Board Chair Paul Ciaburri.

Ciaburri said the Public Safety Building Committee has been trying to determine more details about the project before taking it to voters.

The Public Safety Building Committee currently has $54,380 allotted to work on the design for the potential new building. Johnson requested $90,000 in ARPA funds at the meeting.

Select Board member Adam Murphy said that he would like to know exactly what the combined $140,000 would be used on before approval.

The matter wasn’t voted upon by the Select Board.