CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Deval Patrick on Friday proposed Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee as a potential site to house some of these children. A proposal that is getting some push back within the city.
When Gov. Patrick offered Westover and Camp Edwards Military Base in Cape Cod as possible temporary sites to house up to 1,000 undocumented border children, he did so without the support of Chicopee’s mayor.
According to Mayor Richard Kos, “Clearly there is a humanitarian aspect to this, but that really can’t hide the fact that utilizing a federal Air Force base which is in operations and has issues of their own for security just doesn’t make sense.”
This isn’t a done deal and this isn’t a decision Westover will be making; they’re waiting to hear from the Federal Government.
Master Sgt. Andrew Biscoe told 22News, “We were surprised by the announcement, and of course there is the concern. The concern across the base is how do we support something like this, but we follow the orders of the folks above us, they ask us to do this, we do it.”
While the brass at Westover waits for their orders, Mayor Kos told 22News the state’s efforts to temporarily house homeless families in motels hasn’t worked out as planned and signals a red flag for any plan to temporarily house these children.
“Our city, the region, other cities and towns have also experienced the same issue with the homeless being housed in motels on a temporary basis that hasn’t materialized,” said Mayor Kos. “Unfortunately we have people not there for days and weeks, but months and in some case years.”
Mayor Kos told 22News he hasn’t heard from the Governor’s office since Friday.