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Southampton, Massachusetts voters approve purchase plan for site that could host future public safety complex, senior center

A map of the area
Town of Southampton
A map of the area the town of Southampton, Massachusetts will be acquiring for some $2.2 million, following its 2024 Town Meeting and a vote held on Tuesday, June 25.

Voters in Southampton, Massachusetts have approved the town purchasing 52 acres of land via debt exclusion — potentially paving the way for a future public safety building and more.

The town clerk says nearly 61 percent of the ballots cast for Tuesday's special election were in favor of the purchase, which involves the town borrowing up to $2.2 million, financed over 20 years.

The land off of College Highway, near Gunn Road, could be the home of a new public safety building as the town continues to seek a new structure for its fire and police departments.

During Southampton's town meeting in May, Select Board Chair Christine Fowles said the land is suitable for both that, and potentially a new senior center building.

"We believe this land presents us with several options for future development. It is a prime location, has flat topography with soil suitable for building and it borders the future Rail Trail,” Fowles said while introducing Article 11, which paved the way for the town election on Tuesday, June 25. “It is an ideal area and there's not another location remaining in town that has so much potential.”

An informational brochure published by the town referred to the land as the “preferred location of the proposed new Public Safety Building and Senior Center.”

Officials have indicated the site is also suitable for affordable housing as well as playing fields.

The brochure also noted how debt exclusion would allow for a temporary increase in the tax levy, which “allows a Town to borrow for a specific capital purpose.” The process differs from an override, which Southampton referred to as a “permanent increase in the tax levy.”