December 14, 2019
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Council OKs land swap for new police station project

Mark Pechenik | Portsmouth Herald
Mark Pechenik | Portsmouth Herald
Mike Lassel of Lassel Architects shares a prospective rendering of a new police station to South Berwick town officials during a November 2017 meeting.

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — The Town Council Tuesday unanimously approved the taking of land from the Farmgate Condominium Association for the recently voter-approved new police station.

Legally termed an “order of condemnation,” the taking includes 2.5 acres on Farmgate Lane adjacent Route 236. The council will now need to wait 30 days for public comment before the condemnation becomes legally binding.

[Town voters overwhelmingly support funding for new police station]

Town Manager Perry Ellsworth emphasized this was a “friendly and negotiated taking” worked out with the Farmgate association.

“We give them back 1.5 acres and we are taking 2.5 acres,” he said.

In addition to the land swap, the town will assume up to $20,000 in legal and deed registration costs involved in the condemnation process, as well as taking ownership of a fire hydrant on the property.

[Town leaders alarmed by talk of $1.2M jump in price for new police station]

Other costs to be absorbed by the town include $50,000 for the paving of a parking lot cul de sac and $5,000 for tree removal.

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