BOSTON – After more than 60 years of working in a crumbling building every day, the men and women of the Lawrence police department may finally be getting a new station.
“Back when I was first elected, I said one of my priorities was to help find a way to get the funding for a new police station in Lawrence,” Moran told The Valley Patriot.
Seven years later, Moran has secured support from the House of Representatives to fund $25M for a new police station in Lawrence. Moran says it was frustrating, but is finally glad the project is in the pipeline.
“I mean, the building is in deplorable condition. Nobody should have to work in a building like that, let alone police officers. These guys deserve a lot better work environment, especially given the work they have to do in that station. It’s important work. If you think about it, it’s pretty unreal what they do in that crumbling building every day, and they do it well.”
Moran says that the original plan was for a $70 public safety center but it quickly became apparent that Lawrence wasn’t going to be able to raise that kind of money, so Moran said they put a ‘plan B’ together for a $50M new police station.
“I requested the $50M this year, but we only got $25M. It’s good news though, it’s the start we were looking for. Over the next year we will look at the various plans for a new station and begin the work of getting the other $25M.”
“What I’d like to see is a complete public safety complex. I haven’t given up on trying to find an additional $50M to make that happen, but for right now the plan is for a new police station only.”
Moran said that it will take about a year for the project to begin once the senate votes and Governor Baker signs the funding plan.
Last summer The Valley Patriot video taped Governor Baker while he toured the station and committed to helping Lawrence get funding for a new building, “Or at the very least money to fix the existing building,” he said at the time.
“I think the governor understands the critical need for a new police station in Lawrence. He came and toured the building and I know he has a good relationship with the mayor. He understand the need here,” Moran said.
“The speaker and the Chairman Sanchez of Ways and Means were sick of me bugging them, nagging them about the importance of getting this done. I even brought the speaker to tour the station so he could see for himself. I think that helped.”
Moran says the bill still has to be approved in the senate where he has been working with Senator Ives and L’Italien. HE said he expects it to pass.
Also passed in Moran’s bill were funding approvals for:
* $1.5 million for the continued renewal of the Lawrence Rail Trail
* $500,000 for a new athletic field for Greater Lawrence Technical School
Moran’s bill passed by a vote of 144-6.
FUNDING FOR TECH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FIELD
Speaking in regards to the GLTS athletic field funding, GLTS Superintendent John Lavoie added, “The entire Greater Lawrence Technical School Community is very grateful to Representative Moran and the House of Representatives for supporting a bond bill that provides $500,000 to help with the construction of a new athletic field at the school.
This funding will allow us to start moving forward with the project this spring but most importantly we will be able to expand our physical education programs at GLTS.
In addition, the new fields will allow for many more youth programs from our sending communities to utilize the facility. Many youth programs in our area are in need of quality fields to compete with more affluent communities. One of those programs is Beyond Soccer which we are excited to support with our new fields. Again, let me say thank you as I believe this bond will open new opportunities for athletic growth and well-being for the young and adult population of our community.”
The bond bill was the subject of negotiations throughout the final day of session, and authorized funding for a number of other local projects across the state. The funding package will now move forward for discussions with the Senate before heading to the executive branch for the same.