Westhampton OKs $4.3M safety complex by 350-186 vote

  • Westhampton Town Hall STAFF PHOTO/GRETA JOCHEM

Staff Writer
Published: 3/13/2021 4:59:32 PM

WESTHAMPTON — Voters approved a $4.3 million facility for the police and fire department in a special election Saturday. 

Residents voted 350 to 186 in favor of a Proposition 2½ debt-exclusion override to finance the new safety complex. About 40% of the town’s registered voters cast ballots, according to figures from the town clerk's office. 

On Saturday morning, a steady flow of people cast their vote at Town Hall.

Molly Butler voted for the facility. “We need to support our fire heroes and police force,” she said as she left the polls. “What they have to work with is not great down there.” 

“The conditions in the building are not OK,” said Katharine Nelson, who also voted ‘yes.’ “I don't think it’s an OK situation.” 

Nobody likes to spend money, said Jack Moynihan, but a new building is “somewhat inevitable.”

Some residents, though, felt the project was not necessary and too expensive.

The current public safety complex, at 48 Stage Road, houses police and fire offices and vehicles. The facility does not meet health and safety standards, numerous safety regulations, the building code, or Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and also does not provide adequate space for personnel and equipment, Assistant Fire Chief Steve Holt and Select Board Chairman Phil Dowling previously told the Gazette.

This was the second time residents took up the question of a new building. In 2018, voters at a Town Meeting narrowly advanced the proposal to a ballot question. But at the polls, voters turned down the debt-exclusion override required to move forward with the project by a 254-211 margin.

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com.
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