WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Fire District will hold another special meeting asking voters to purchase a Main Street location for a new station, officials say.
The meeting, which officials expect to be held this winter, will include a warrant with language allowing for study of a joint fire and police facility.
Fire Chief Craig Pedercini said Thursday that employees agreed to move forward at this week's monthly meeting.
"As a group, we still feel we have the need for this piece of property," he said. "We still feel it's the best fit for us as the future of our fire department."
The Fire District, an independent government entity overseen by a three-member Prudential Committee, asked voters to approve the $575,000 purchase of the 3.7 acre Lehovec property at 562-580 Main St. at an Oct. 15 meeting. Many residents had called for a "no vote" and called for further study on whether a joint facility on the property was feasible. A motion to purchase the property failed to receive a two-thirds majority.
Prudential Committee member John Notsley said Thursday that the district's legal counsel, Kopelman and Paige, will draft a new warrant for another meeting.
"We really haven't nailed down the language," he said.
The warrant will likely consist of two articles, Notsley said, and allow for the funding of a feasibility study for a new station. The warrant's language would also reference the figures associated with the purchase, which weren't included in the Oct. 15 meeting warrant.
Finance Committee member Dan Gendron, who was an outspoken critic against the purchase of the Lehovec property, said he would support an effort to build a joint station. Gendron and Notsley both serve on the Public Safety Building Study Committee, formed by the Selectmen to explore sites for a new police station and a possible joint facility.
But Gendron expressed concern that the agreed-upon price of $575,000 is considerably larger than the property's assessed value of $251,600. He also referenced previous interactions with district officials, adding he would "be more supportive if the [fire district] understood that people who disagree with aspects of their plan are not attacking them personally."
Notsley refuted Gendron's claims, and added the district has been open to the idea of a joint facility.
"Unless a benefactor appears before the special meeting, buys it and gives it to the district as a gift, well have to pursue it and purchase it," Notsley added.
Pedercini said he and other officials will provide information about how the fire district works and the current station's condition in the coming weeks.
"It's important that people understand if we can't obtain this piece of property, we may have no other options down the road," he said.
To reach Edward Damon, email email@example.com.