Southwick residents attend special town meeting outside

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – New restrictions on our daily lives due to the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we do nearly everything – from the way we deliver the news – to the way your town government conducts business.

Southwick held a special town meeting outside Tuesday night. Voters made sure to keep a safe distance apart, while at the same time making a very important decision concerning the Congamond Lakes.

For the first time in the town’s history, Southwick held a town meeting outside. Voters had to decide whether the town should appropriate $800,000 in community preservation funds to pay the costs of treating the water in the Congamond Lakes. Town leaders said the alum treatment needs to be done in early April, due to the water’s temperature.

Susan Kochanski, town leader of Southwick told 22News, “The lake has to be treated now. in the early Spring, for when they have it scheduled if we don’t do this now. It just won’t do any good.”

Everyone at the town meeting was spaced out at least 6 feet apart in the parking spaces behind Southwick High School. There were some concerns about having this meeting in the first place.

Chairman of the select board in Southwick, Russell Fox, understands the concerns. He told 22News, “I understand there are people out there that are upset. And I can appreciate that. But I believe we took all the safety measures necessary.”

Fox told 22News only 25 people had to be there for the town meeting, 138 voters ended up participating. Southwick voters approved all three articles Tuesday night. Article 3 passed overwhelmingly, with 135 ‘Yes’ votes and just 3 ‘No’ votes.

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