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$1 million police renovations on warrant in Gilford

The Gilford police and town office building is pegged for renovations, and officials are asking taxpayers to approve $1.2 million in bonds for the work.

“It really is to the point where it impacts our performance to some degree,” said Acting Police Chief Lt. James Leach. “We’ve been working with it for a long time.”

The police warrant article is separate from the town’s $11.3 million operating budget, which is a $437,300 increase over the current year.

Leach and Board of Selectmen Chairman J. Kevin Hayes said the building is cramped, outdated and lacks meeting and training space. Selectmen and the town’s budget committee unanimously approved the recommendation, which includes renovations and an addition to the current building on Cherry Valley Road.

The police department shares space with the town offices and are separated by a lobby and the design of the building can confuse some visitors. “Just the layout is not user-friendly,” Leach said.

If approved, work would begin this year. The building opened in 1988, when the police department had 18 full-time employees and responded to 5,712 calls for service. The department currently has 23 full-time employees and responded to 20,223 calls in 2013. The police department has operated without space for emergency operations or training, both of which have been held in the library and the fire station. “Those rooms aren’t really set up for that,” Leach said.

Residents who want a tour of the building can contact Leach or Lt. Kristian Kelley at 527-4737. To a view a slide show presentation detailing the proposal visit www.gilfordpd.org.

∎ Contested races: Kevin Roy, J. Scott Davis, Susan Greene, Kevin Leandro and Skip Murphy are seeking three spots on the budget committee.

∎ Voting: Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gilford Youth Center on Potter Hill Road.

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