BOURNE — The search for a home for a new firehouse on the South Side had been narrowed down to three sites, but a fourth was recently added on MacArthur Boulevard (Route 28) and now tops the list.
The South Side Fire Station Construction Committee is charged with finding a location for a station south of the Bourne Bridge and expects to submit an application for project funding before the May 2023 city meeting.
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The committee unanimously, but unofficially, ranked the Adventure Isle site at 340 MacArthur Boulevard (Route 28) as its top pick, Tuesday. It is followed by a neighboring stretch at the old golf driving range just before Clay Pond Road known as the Motor Way.
The city wants to add a station south of the Bourne Bridge
County land on County Road at Dr. Julius Kelley Drive in Pocasset is the third choice. In fourth place is the stretch of youth baseball on Shore Road in Monument Beach.
Pomroy Associates LLC, the East Bridgewater firm retained by the city to provide the owner’s project manager services, has conducted a methodical and in-depth reexamination of the three previously final locations.
The Motor Way still carries some weight on the committee because it offers reasonable emergency response times south of the Bourne Bridge. But it would involve a possible $2.5 million land purchase and road construction. The city is also only interested in four acres of the land.
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Rick Pomroy of Pomroy Associates told the committee that the Pocasset site is not a good fit given the “site lines (along County Road) are not that great. A traffic study and a professional recommendation from a traffic consultant would be needed,” he said.
The voters of the public assembly have authorized $900,000 to purchase the 90-acre site from Barnstable County. But there are complications.
“The county has not responded to questions about their intent to sell,” Town Manager Marlene McCollem told the station committee. “The county has not officially responded.”
The Bourne Fire Station has been a target for decades
Meanwhile, eight firms have expressed interest in the city’s request for station design qualifications, which is being reviewed by Pomroy Associates. After the pre-selection, the list will be reduced to four companies that will be discussed on October 6 and 18.
The search to find a suitable location for the firehouse has been going on for decades, beginning in the 1960s when the late Fire Chief Charles Braley tried to map out the future needs of the department.
Inadequate geography doomed some sites; so did changes in capital spending priorities for new buildings.
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Retired Fire Chief Steve Philbrick said there were three station siting committees during his tenure in the 1980s. He said the once-active Monument Beach fire station, now closed, had been purchased by the city and turned into a station. It’s an old horse stable, he said.
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“Wonderful location for its time,” he said. “Excellent for response times. But not now with the potential for flood waters to cross (neighboring) train tracks.”
Southside coverage would extend from Scraggy Neck in Cataumet to Mashnee Island at the west end of the channel. About 50 percent of the city’s population, according to the latest US Census, resides south of the canal.
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