Hampden town-wide recount shows original count is valid - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM


Hampden town-wide recount shows original count is valid

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Last week during Hampden's annual town meeting, the new police headquarters was approved in a town-wide vote. Hampden residents requested a recount on the vote. 

The numbers stayed the same after Tuesday morning's recount in favor of a new police station.

Patty Ehlers is a resident who requested a recount of the 266 to 248 vote in favor of a new police station. 

Ehlers said she didn't feel plans for the station were presented properly and residents weren't given enough time to think about it before voting. 

"Officers here are excellent, I believe they deserve a better police station but not one so extravagant. One that will promise better safety to the pedestrians and the people that drive this road every day," Ehlers said. 

Ehlers and a friend gathered signatures last week demanding a recount. She said it's not just about increased taxes, it's about public safety. 

"I think the town needs to come together and plan and have better action and control the cost. Especially control the safety of the road, that would be the most important thing," Ehlers said. 

The new police station will be just to the right of the Hampden Senior Center.

"It's very needed and has been for many years and it's demeaning for the police the way they have to live down there," said Marian Delapa, a Hampden resident. 

Last week, Hampden Police Chief Jeff Farnsworth gave a tour to CBS 3 of the current 900-square-foot space that's been in the basement of Town Hall since 1968. 

"We just really have thoroughly outgrown the usefulness of this current facility," Farnsworth said.

The new $2.9 million facility would upgrade the department about 6,000 square feet and provide easier access to disabled residents. 

"It's definitely needed to bring our public safety into current standards," Farnsworth said.

Accepting construction bids will be the next step for the town. 

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