MAYOR PAUL BRODEUR holds up a signed order allowing for a debt exclusion question to be put on the November 7 election ballot. If it passes, the city will borrow money to renovate or replace all four of Melrose’s obsolete public safety buildings.

MELROSE — Mayor Paul Brodeur has approved a debt exclusion ballot question to fund the renovation and replacement of all four of Melrose’s aging and obsolete public safety buildings: the Melrose Central Fire Station (built in 1895), the Melrose Highlands Fire Station (built in 1929), the East Side Fire Station (built in 1964), and the Melrose Police Station (built in 1903). The question will appear on the November 7, 2023 election ballot.

In a brief signing ceremony attended by current and former City Councilors, members of the Public Safety Building Committee, and members of the Melrose Police and Fire Departments including Chief Edward Collina and Chief Kevin Faller, Mayor Brodeur signed the order allowing this question to be placed before the voters of Melrose on the November 7, 2023 election ballot. The Melrose City Council unanimously passed the order at their meeting on September 5, 2023.

“Replacing our public safety buildings is without a doubt the City’s most urgent public infrastructure priority,” said Brodeur. “Renovating our historic fire headquarters and building new state-of-the-art police and fire stations will be an investment of historic proportions for Melrose that will benefit the community for generations to come. I look forward to putting the debt exclusion question before the voters in November.”

A debt exclusion is a temporary increase in the tax levy that allows a City to borrow for a specific purpose. Unlike an override, which is a permanent increase in the tax levy, the additional amount for the payment of debt service is added to the levy limit for the life of the debt only.

A debt exclusion ballot question can only be placed on an election ballot by a two-thirds vote of the City Council and requires the mayor’s approval. The form of a debt exclusion ballot question is dictated by state election law, and only allows for a City or Town to indicate the purpose and not a dollar amount.

The cost to renovate or replace all four public safety buildings has been estimated at $130 million.

For information about the Melrose Public Safety Buildings project, visit