Bourne Police Station

Bourne’s new police station

The Bourne Police Department has requested an increase to its current budget of more than $88,000. Police department officials said the request to amend the budget is due, mostly, to unanticipated costs associated with the new police station.

Interim Director of Police Services Paul J. Shastany and Police Lieutenant Brandon M. Esip appeared before a joint session of the Bourne Finance Committee and the Bourne Board of Selectmen Monday evening, October 18. The selectmen and the finance committee met to begin review and discussion of the articles on the warrant for next month’s Special Town Meeting.

The amended police department budget will be Article 17 on the warrant. Chief Shastany noted that when he was appointed in January, the police department was still getting used to its new home on Armory Road in Buzzards Bay.

“Some of the systems, software systems, building systems, contracts, as well as fiscal responsibilities, started to crystalize,” he said, “and we saw, as a result of that, some unexpected, unforeseen shortfalls in budgeting.”

Lt. Esip pinpointed the exact amount being requested as $88,115. The lieutenant offered specific details as to where the current budget falls short of the department’s financial needs. Some of the bigger-ticket items the lieutenant spoke of included:

  • $11,750 in maintenance and grounds repairs; mainly for some contracts that were unanticipated; the cost has gone up, he said, in the year and half since construction started on the building.
  • $10,000 in medical; Lt. Esip said the department has eight new employees, with more to come; medical exams have to be done on the new people at a cost of $1,200 to $1,500 per person, he said.
  • $12,000 in clothing, to provide uniforms and equipment for the new people; the actual cost was not anticipated when the original budget was processed, he said.
  • $34,540 for data processing; $30,000 would be for the building’s security system, including the firewall, some backup software and the wireless network, he said.

The lieutenant said some of the requested increase was because the police department budget was decreased in spite of the department moving into a larger building. He said some of the money being requested was “to bring us back in line with what we were previously budgeted for.”

Finance committee member Parker Freedman noted that some of the issues with the budget shortfall appeared to be due to supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Others, however, were not budgeted for unknown reasons, Mr. Freedman said. He asked how the committee could help so that the police department is not underbudgeted next year.

Lt. Esip said the department continues to get “a much clearer picture of the operating costs of the building.” He noted a $500 savings due to less need for bottled water because of the clean water coming into the building.

“That was a savings,” he said. “We might see that in the future, but there’s going to be some growing pains.”

Assistant Town Administrator Glenn D. Cannon said a similar situation was unfolding with the new wastewater treatment facility adjacent to the police station. Mr. Cannon said the actual cost of operating the building is ever-evolving versus what the anticipated cost would be.

“You’re really going off the engineer’s estimates,” he said. “We don’t really know that finite amount until we have a couple of years underneath it.”

Residents will have the final say on the amended police budget article when it is voted on at Special Town Meeting on Monday, November 15, at 7 PM in the auditorium at Bourne High School.

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