LYNNFIELD — The cost for the public safety buildings and Town Hall project will be finalized next month, Public Safety Building Committee Chairman John Scenna said during the Select Board’s meeting on Monday.

Scenna said the project entails building a new Fire Headquarters next to the existing South Station.

“The Post Office remains under our current plan,” said Scenna. “The current South Station will get demolished at the very end, which will provide additional parking.”

Scenna said the project also involves renovating and expanding the Police Station, the current Fire Headquarters and Town Hall. He said the Town Hall component of the project will make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“This is one building and one site, which triggered Town Hall improvements as well,” said Scenna.

Town Administrator Rob Dolan recalled that Spring Town Meeting voted to appropriate $325,000 to fund the design of the public safety buildings and Town Hall project.

“That has been completed,” said Dolan. “That brings us to the point where we are going to identify the project’s full cost.”

Scenna noted that Tappé Architects, which was the firm that developed the design for the elementary schools’ expansion project, partnered with Mitchell Associates to create the public safety buildings’ project’s design. He said the project’s renderings will be unveiled in a few weeks.

Dolan said the Select Board will be submitting a warrant article that will ask voters to approve the project at Fall Town Meeting on Monday, Nov. 14. If Town Meeting approves the project, voters will be asked to approve a debt exclusion vote at the ballot box.

While local officials were hoping that the project would not result in a tax increase because the originally estimated $41.25 million price tag would have replaced the debt expiring from the Reedy Meadow Golf Course purchase and the school projects from the early 2000s, Dolan said the finalized cost estimate “will result in a tax increase.”

“We must make a community decision that openly acknowledges challenges,” said Dolan. “We have interest rate challenges, supply chain challenges, construction cost escalations and inflation that has hit all of us. These are very tough times. But we also know this problem exists, it is serious today and it’s not going to go away. Solving this problem will never be cheaper than it is today.”

Dolan said the town has changed since all three public safety buildings were built in the early 1960s.

“When the current stations were built in the early 1960s, the town did not have a full-time Fire Department,” said Dolan. “It was all-volunteer. When the current stations were built, the town had one combined police-fire chief. When the current stations were built, Lynnfield was a rural suburb without significant commercial structures and the town’s total population was 8,000 residents. We are not building facilities for 2022. We are building facilities for the next 75 to 100 years.”

Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Glenn Davis recalled that firefighters’ protective turnout gear is stored next to fire engines and ambulances, which exposes carcinogens to firefighters.

“Cancer has been the leading cause of firefighter fatalities for the last several years now due to on the job exposures,” said Davis. “Is that a problem in our current fire stations? Yes.”

Dolan agreed.

“When the current stations were built, the understanding of carcinogens, chemicals and exhaust inhalations were minimal,” said Dolan. “Now we know without debate that these work place hazards kill police officers and firefighters. Building design can keep them safe.”

Davis noted that the Fire Department has two women working as firefighters.

“There is no real space for them to have any privacy,” said Davis. “There is no separate facilities for them and no shower facilities for women. There is no bunk space for women, and there was no bunk space built at either fire station. I vacated my office so we could put a twin bed in there so we could separate people while they are sleeping overnight at the station. We also have people sleeping in recliners.”

Chief Nick Secatore said police officers have to use a stairwell located behind the Police Station to bring prisoners into the facility, which he said is “inadequate.”

“It’s substandard,” said Secatore.

While the Police Department does not have any women currently working as officers, Secatore said three dispatchers are women.

“The women’s locker room has the women’s holding cell in it,” said Secatore. “When someone is in that, our female employees have to walk by the holding cell with someone in it to use the restroom. It’s inadequate and shouldn’t be part of the workplace. We are asking to fix major issues.”

If voters approve the public safety buildings and Town Hall project, Scenna anticipates it will take between four and five years to complete.

“That is due to the complexity of the moves and the complexity of construction,” said Scenna.

Scenna said the project’s final cost estimate will be unveiled in October.

Select Board Chairman Phil Crawford reiterated his support for the project.

“We have been looking at this project for the last several years,” said Crawford. “This is the number one need in this town. There is no doubt about it. We didn’t do this a few years ago because it would have placed too much of a tax burden on taxpayers. The timing is good now because we have the majority of our existing debt coming off in the next three years. This is the perfect time to do a major project like this that is needed.”

Select Board member Joe Connell concurred with Crawford’s viewpoint.

“We owe our first responders and Town Hall employees better working conditions,” said Connell. “Our first responders walk into a very risky business every single day, but their workplace should not be one of them. If anyone of us had to work in these conditions, we would find another employer. It’s time that we fix the fix situation now.”

Select Board member Dick Dalton said Scenna, along with the School Building Committee, worked hard to keep the elementary schools’ expansion project on time and under budget. Scenna is the chairman of that board as well, and works as the town’s capital projects manager in addition to serving as superintendent of the Lynnfield Center Water District.

“We were able to add more things to that initial project,” said Dalton. “There is a track record here and that is something the town should not forget.”

Dolan said there will be more public forums about the project in the coming weeks.