WILLIAMSTOWN -- Uncertaintly about boundary lines have slowed the Fire District’s attempts at purchasing a Main Street property where a new fire station could be built.
"Our attorney in Boston called me a couple of times because their title expert would not authorize us to purchase it without having those boundaries defined," Prudential Committee member Edward Briggs said during a meeting on Wednesday. "He called it a non-marketable title."
Prudential Committee officials have been eyeing the 3.7 acre parcel at 562-580 Main St., to replace the aging station on Water Street for close to four years. Officials previously agreed to a purchase price of $575,000 at a meeting on June 12, and has until Oct. 21, to close the sale.
Briggs, who participated via conference call, stressed that it’s a seller’s responsibility that a property have proper boundaries drawn.
"Even in our contract with them, it acknowledges that they must provide us with a marketable title," he said.
Briggs said the attorney for the district, Mark Richards, will be working with the attorney of the Lehovec estate to have them create new boundaries.
"Thirty or 40 years from now ... there’s going to be questions on where is the boundary," he said. "The way it’s designed right now, we can’t answer that."
Whether the district purchases the site is dependent on the results of two studies on the property and a positive vote of residents at a special meeting of the fire district.
Briggs said the results of an environmental study, commonly called a "21E report," completed by Peabody-based Weston and Sampson for $3,950, gave the site "a clean bill of health" and found no hazardous materials.
A topographical study will be done by Guntlow and Associates for $4,400 and could be completed by next week, he said. The study will determine whether the site can accommodate the 21,000-square-foot building recommended in a 2009 study by Maguire Group.
Prudential Committee member John Notsley said that the Public Safety Building Study Committee continues to explore building a joint fire and police facility somewhere in town. Notsley, who serves on the town-sanctioned committee, said the meetings have been progressing fairly well.
"Nobody on the committee is dragging their feet," he said. "They want this done expediently but thoroughly."
In other business, officials approved the treasurer’s report for fiscal year 2012. As of June 30, the last day of the fiscal year, the district had a balance of $699,524.75, with $368,619.70 in its stabilization fund. The district had collected a total of $660,656 in taxes.
"We’re in good shape," Notsley said.
Fire Chief Craig Pedercini also updated officials on the installation of a dry hydrant on Blair Road, at a cost of $1,570. The hydrant will allow fire fighters to use the Green River as a water source in the event of a fire. Another dry hydrant will soon be installed at Five Corners in South Williamstown, he said.
To reach Edward Damon, email