Williams College has announced a $400,000 gift to the town to help build the new police station on Simonds Road.

IBerkshires.com reports that with college Assistant to the President for Community and Government Affairs James Kolesar in the audience, Town Manager Jason Hoch told the Select Board on Monday that the school's gift will make it easier to achieve his goal of renovating and expanding the former Turner House on Simonds Road without adding to the town's property tax rate.

With a nod to the town's construction team, Hoch laid out a timeline that has shovels in the ground as early as June 4th and the new police station ready for occupancy in summer 2019.

The town also won't need to have a ballot vote on the police station. Since the funding plan does not require payments to be excluded from Proposition 2 1/2, a two-thirds vote at town meeting is all that will be required.

Hoch's plan is to use funds from a variety of sources — including, now, the $400,000 Williams donation — to help make approximately $350,000 annual payments on the $5 million bond over the first six years of its 20-year life.

He does not plan on touching the $1.3 million the town currently has in its stabilization account. The reasons he gave on Monday were twofold: A healthy stabilization balance helps the town's bond rating, and borrowing significantly less than $5 million would reduce the pool of potential buyers when the bond is floated in mid May.

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