Selectmen Want Movement On Bank Street Demolition

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Infrastructure , Municipal Finance

Selectmen seek movement on demolition of the former fire station on Bank Street. WILLIAM F. GALVIN PHOTO

HARWICH — The former fire station on Bank Street could be demolished in the near future. Selectmen last week instructed Interim Town Administrator Joseph Powers to take the steps necessary to begin the process.

Powers said Selectman Michael MacAskill requested moving ahead with the demolition plans and a site visit was held with Town Engineer Griffin Ryder and Harbormaster John Rendon. The building has not been used since the harbor department moved its maintenance operation to new facilities at Saquatucket Harbor last year.

In a report to selectmen in 2016, the real estate and open space committee recommended the sale of the 2.08-acre property at 203 Bank St., where the former fire station is located. There was discussion at that time about demolition of the building. It was also recommended that an asbestos inspection report be conducted and a 21E hazardous material study be done on the building.

Powers pointed out that in 2017 town meeting voted to authorize selectmen to sell the property, declaring it surplus. There was discussion about working with the Harwich Conservation Trust, which was interested in the parking facilities at the location, which abuts the Robert Smith Preserve owned by the trust.

The funds generated from the sale of the land were specifically directed to offset the capital costs of the harbor department’s new maintenance facility.

The focus last Monday night was on demolition of the former fire station building. Powers said some of the contents inside the building can be auctioned and he would work with the procurement team to set one up the internet.