Rochester selects firm, committee for public safety building study

Oct 4, 2022

ROCHESTER – The Rochester Select Board made major decisions regarding the study for a new public safety building at their meeting on Monday, Oct. 3.

They approved a firm that will assist in conducting the study and appointed members for the Public Safety Feasibility Study Committee that will advise the board.

The study will look into the feasibility of a new building to house the Rochester Police Department and Rochester Fire Department, as well as the potential benefits to the town.

On Sept. 1, the board approved a plan for the committee that will be tasked with advising the board as it prepares for the study. Since then, the town has reviewed applications for potential committee members.

The board approved Select Board member Brad Morse, Fire Chief Scott Weigel, Police Chief Robert Small, Finance Committee member David Arancio and Planning Board chair Arnold Johnson to the committee. They also approved Town Administrator Glenn Cannon, but as a non-voting member.

“I want to see a broad spectrum of the town. It’d be good to get a variety of backgrounds on the committee,” said Select Board Member Woody Hartley.

Eight residents applied for the four civilian representative positions. The Select Board approved David Sullivan, Melissa Dougall, Brian Porter and Robert Francis to the committee.

Dougall was present at the meeting, and said she was looking forward to representing the generation of “30-somethings” in Rochester.

Porter was also present, and stated that with his experience in working in construction for 40 years, he felt that he could provide a lot of insight to assist the board.

The town also decided on an architectural firm to work with on the study.

Three potential consultants gave presentations to the town on Thursday, Sept. 22.

The three firms, LiRo Corp, RGB Architects, and The Galante Architecture Studio, each went over their plans for how they would assess the needs of the town and select a space fitting for a building that could house Rochester’s fire and police departments.

The Select Board unanimously chose The Galante Architecture Studio (TGAS), based on their experience and specialization in public safety buildings.

Morse said that while he thought all firms were excellent, his choice was TGAS because, “they had worked more with fire, emergency services, and police.”

“They didn’t spend time talking about schools, libraries, or other types of buildings. They talked all about what we’re looking for in this particular building,” Morse added.

The other members of the board agreed that TGAS was their top choice.

Porter agreed, but added, “I wanted to understand their fee structure going forward, and that’s part of where I’m stuck.”

Cannon made plans to move forward and negotiate a service contract with TGAS with the assistance of town counsel.

If they could not come to a contract agreement, the Select Board agreed that RGB Architects would be their second choice.

Hartley stated that the town has $110,000 available in funds for the study.