Westhampton residents voted down a multi-million dollar safety complex

Hampshire County

Westhampton residents voted down a proposal to build a new multi-million dollar safety complex Saturday.

Westhampton residents voted Saturday not to approve a new $4.4 million public safety complex. A Feasibility Study determined a number of deficiencies in the current building, including, the lack of adequate space to safely perform emergency trainings.

Judy Herrell, a Westhampton resident told 22News, “They have almost no space to teach things like CPR and AED training and things are important things for the town of Westhampton.”

According to Fire Chief Christopher Norris, if residents vote in favor of overriding proposition 2 1/2 – the state’s tax-limiting law; a resident with a property valued at $286,000 could see their property taxes increase by about $69 a year.

“From the beginning was to level fund and not have an increase in taxes bases on this specific project because other things are coming off the capital project, Selectboard Chair Philip Dowling said.”

The existing Public Safety Facility was built in 1949 as a Highway Garage. The Fire Department,
EMS & Police all operate within the two-story building.

Norris said, “That feasibility study found that for a town of this size, in our operational needs, this facility for Police, Fire and EMS should be about 13,000 square feet. This one down here is currently 7500.”

According to Norris, the proposed structure would be just over 10,600 square feet. 

Dowling told 22News construction would have started in the spring and be completed the following year. 

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