Onset Fire District officials ponder fate of police substation

By Matthew Bernat | Mar 23, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Onset Fire District officials are seeking the public's input on what should be done with property the district owns at 240 Onset Ave.

Onset Fire District officials floated the idea of selling one of the district’s buildings, two years after a similar attempt failed to generate interest from buyers.

Located at 240 Onset Ave., the building is used as a substation by the Wareham Police Department during summer. The building’s utility and upkeep is paid for with department funds.

At Thursday’s joint Prudential Committee and Onset Water Commissioners meeting, officials said selling the building could offset the cost of an $8 million fire station to be built within the next couple years.

Voters at the Onset Fire District annual meeting approved the new fire station last year after hearing the current station, located in Onset Village, is outdated. The new station will be built on Sand Pond Road, near the Onset Water Department.

In 2016, officials attempted to sell 240 Onset Ave., which was last appraised at $175,000.

“We tried several times to sell 240 Onset Ave.,” said Prudential Committee Chair Charles Klueber. “It’s a white elephant at this point…We did not get one letter of interest.”

Committee member Marcine Fernandes said she saw the value in having the substation in Onset Village, however.

“The police are using it as a substation at no cost to us,” she said. “I think it’s a benefit for the village.”

No decisions were made at Thursday’s meeting. Klueber said he would welcome suggestions from residents on what should be done with the building.

Comments (8)
Posted by: Spherebreaker | Mar 25, 2018 08:39

What’s to ponder? Sell the place and put proceeds towards your unneeded fire palace/chili kitchen

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Mar 25, 2018 09:30

There was never an appraisal done, they went by the assessed value and had a fairly high minimum bid. I have never actually seen the doors open in summer and staffed by police, has anyone? There would be a line item in the WPD for maintenance and utilities here. If they want a substation there will be a firehouse available soon, great location, convenient to beaches and drug dealers.

This building generates no income for the Fire District. Mrs. Fernandes stated it costs us “nothing” but one assumes it’s insured? Don’t they have a fiscal obligation to find a Paying Tenant or sell it?

Don’t wait for a for sale sign, they have to open the bidding process which they did not do. Why not? Why did they not simply make a motion to sell it and open bids? They spend loads of time on what didn’t work in the past, on every topic.

There is a two car garage under and a perfect storefront. Anyone want to buy it from us, the taxpayers?

Watch the video of the discussion.


Posted by: cranky pants | Mar 25, 2018 10:00

Low income dispensary !!!

Posted by: Matthew Bernat | Mar 28, 2018 16:04

For clarification, the District did perform an appraisal and the most recent number came back at $175,000.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Mar 29, 2018 08:12

Commercial building in Onset, in the village, in good shape appraised at $175,000. Sounds very fishy to me. Any Realtors out there that can do a realistic appraisal on the place?

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Mar 29, 2018 14:14

Building is appraised by Town at $201,900 for tax purposes and has been for years. Town Tax appraisals are most often under what the building would sell for. It should be sold along with the old fire house and any other property to help pay for the new fire palace.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Mar 30, 2018 08:54

Matthew Bernat on the video at 9:03 the Clerk Treasurer said she went by the "assessed value and never had an appraisal done." If we paid an appraiser, there was a budget item and an appraisal is available but outdated. https://youtu.be/8EEJ3t8P-5Y

This video really exemplifies one of the problems, the backward thinking of the Prudential Committee. Almost any topic is met with "we tried that before." Chairman Kleuber says "nobody has shown any interest in that building...it's a white elephant." However they haven't placed it on offer in two years. The real estate market is fluid, and no one knows it's available!

Posted this on @OnsetAllTogether and from all of the comments it appears that this OFD building is used by the Town of Wareham to help seniors implement the tax workoff program as an information center. Both great programs but Onset FD owns the building.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Mar 30, 2018 08:55

Spherebreaker appraisers appraise, brokers give brokers opinion of value.

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