After a discussion at Monday night's meeting, the Salem Board of Selectmen agreed to take a long, hard look at the town's plan for future capital improvement projects.
At least two selectmen publicly expressed support for a combined public safety complex as a new idea to deal with Salem's aging Police and Fire facilities.
Town Manager Keith Hickey said staff reviewed the out-years of capital plans and made several amendments.
Those changes included the removal of several vehicles, elimination of plans to expand all three of Salem's fire stations, the shift of a new ladder truck for Salem Fire from 2015 to 2014 "due to its current condition after a recent inspection" according to Hickey, and a heavy rescue vehicle for Salem Fire is included for 2014 as well.
The plan proposes a $12 million bond in 2017 for work on Route 28. A proposed new police station remains in the plan for 2015, Hickey said.
"I've said and I'm going to continue to say, if we're going to do anything we need to do a combined safety complex," said Selectman Jim Keller. "I won't stop saying that, I won't stop fighting for that."
Keller admitted finding the right site for such a facility might be a challenge, but said getting to work on a plan right now is the right thing to do.
Selectman Everett McBride, Jr., agreed with Keller's assessment.
"It has to be combined," McBride said. "We have to make that clear, concise and that's the only way it gets done."
Keller also said the board should take a broader approach to dealing with the long-term capital plan.
"I'm willing to work as hard as we can work...to make a plan that we can support," he said.
After some discussion on how to handle that work, selectmen agreed to hold a workshop meeting on the capital plan Jan. 7.
Also at Monday's meeting, selectmen voted unanimously to enter into a five-year agreement to lease space in Town Hall to Salem Caregivers, who will be re-locating from the Foss School. Selectmen had previously considered a license agreement but asked for further clarification.