WILLIAMSTOWN -- Talks between the Fire District and the executor of the late Kurt Lehovec's estate are still ongoing, an official said, and the district has yet to sign a purchase and sales agreement for the plot where it is hoped a new firehouse could be built.
"There have been a couple of setbacks here," Prudential Committee member Edward Briggs said at Wednesday's meeting of the district.
The district expected to sign a purchase and sales agreement for a 3.7 acre parcel of land at 562-580 Main St., earlier this month, he said. But negotiations with Lehovec's daughter, who is the executor of his estate in which the parcel is included, have slowed.
"She has a family member who has been seriously ill, and has been committing most of her time to taking care of this individual," he said. "We respect her privacy and are certainly not going to interfere with that situation."
Briggs said the district would possibly sign a purchase and sales agreement in the beginning of April.
He added that since the last meeting of the district on Feb. 20, they have engaged Guntlow and Associates to perform a preliminary grading plan, something required by the building inspector and Conservation Commission to determine whether the land can be built on. In addition, the district engaged Peabody-based engineering firm Weston and Sampson to perform an environmental study to determine whether oil and hazardous materials are present at the site.
"None of that can be done until a purchase and sales agreement is in place," Briggs added.
Fire District officials have expressed their concern that the current 4,325 square-foot firehouse on Water Street, built in 1951, is antiquated -- firefighters put on gear within inches of trucks, and the doors to trucks can't be fully opened in the station.
A 2009 study by the Maguire Group Inc. suggested a new station be approximately 21,000 square feet to serve the district's needs, carrying a price tag of $8 to $9 million.
The district would seek a 30-year municipal bond and utilize existing funds to offset the amount of money it would borrow.
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