Friday, March 27, 2009

Per your request...


Poor Mr Kendrick. His altruistic trust spends over sixty years to clear a three acre parcel of all structures so the town can have an open landscaped park (now worth well over $1 million), but the town manager wants to construct a “comfort station” with $100,000 grant from the PVTA so bus riders will have bathrooms on the outskirts of town center.

Perhaps Vince O’Connor can tweak his presentation to Town Meeting about taking by eminent domain the Fiber Arts Building from Amherst College (at half price no less.)

That building is located directly on a bus route in the heart of the downtown. And the $100-K from PVTA could spruce up the bathrooms.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is Shaffer's preoccupation with places to make dooty?

Really, it seems like he wants to leave his mark on the town and so is determined to build something on Kendrick PARK. Park. It's a park. If you build a crapper you must clean it. Are we prepared to keep it open and to keep it clean?

Apart from Shaffer's Ice Box, unless of course he's going to spend money to heat it, is there a comprehensive plan decided upon, approved and funded for Kendrick Park? Why not follow the plan?

The idea of building a public restroom, one, in that space seems absurd. Either we develop a plan for public restrooms or we don't. One public restroom should be in city hall, central, convenient, open and heated. Convince me it makes sense to spend money building a public restroom on Kendrick park.

LarryK4 said...

Not going to get any convincing from me. I too think it absurd.

Especially since it flies in the face of a generous old dead white guy.

Anonymous said...

It would be an eyesore.

And so not needed. The whole town center is full of restaurants and cafes with bathrooms, if someone needs one. I know you shouldn't use one if you're not a customer. But people do. (And become customers... "while I'm here, I'll get a coffee...")

Terry Franklin

LarryK4 said...

And after a coffee or two, they have to use the bathroom again.

Anonymous said...

One only has to wander down to Fort River or Community Field to see just how well public restrooms are maintained in this town. And with budgets getting axed even further I can imagine that "cleaning toilets" will move even farther down the list of priorities. Bad idea.

Question: wasn't there some sort of public committee formed a while back that was supposed to come up with a plan for Kendrick Park? If so, what came out of those meetings? Seems like an overall plan of attack is desperately needed for this parcel which would eliminate issues like the Boy Scouts and proposed comfort stations from popping up.

Anonymous said...

...know you shouldn't use one if you're not a customer....

Exactly, that's why this makes so much sense. They don't want to have to clean up from a never-ending stream of noncustomers. The town needs some public bathrooms. It's not absurd at all. This is a good-sized park. A comfort station does not fly in the face of the bequest. Parks have bathrooms.

dominique said...

Maybe for starters they could renovate and reopen the public toilets at the back corner of Town Hall. When we were kids, we figured that the Town closed them so that we couldn't refill our squirtguns and spray bottles during the Fair.

LarryK4 said...

No actually it is not a "good sized park". It is in fact, tiny. And flat and without a lot of tree cover.

As Terry said, a "comfort station" like what we have at Groff Park would be an eyesore.

LarryK4 said...

Anon 3:06
Yeah, I don't think the Kendrick Park Committee has issued its final report yet.

Some Umass kids did a landscape/architecture study for course credit and issued their ideas a while back.

Also have to wonder if the Town Manager has gone before the Design Review Board, Zoning Board, Planning Board with this idea (you know, all those hurdles the private sector is required to jump)

Dominique: Yeah, I remember that well (and they were pretty stinky at the time)

Anonymous said...

You can plant trees, shrubs, make it look more attractive. Have you seen the design plans? Nope.

LarryK4 said...

In fact, my reliable sources tell me there are currently no "design plans" for the "comfort station".

But I'm sure if the money comes through, they will fast track something.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me. What I hate is when they spend 20 years to build a "parking garage" with no deck.

LarryK4 said...

Ahhh, but the Parking Garage is e-x-p-a-n-d-a-b-l-e to accommodate just such a deck.

And as long as Rob Kusner does not get elected to the ARA next Tuesday, it is something that could very well happen.

Anonymous said...

So why not put a comfort station THERE instead? (on/near the parking garage) It would be centrally located, fit in with the concrete/asphalt landscape, and probably be a whole lot easier/less expensive to build w/ all of the utilities (water, sewer, electrical) already there. Just a thought...

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, that would be fine.

he ARA still has $30,000 or $40,000 left and if the PVTA does kick in $100,000 we could build something respectable.

MIke k said...

Now we may just have the best persons to take care of the comfort station on Kendrick Park. #1 The Town Mangler or # 2 The volunteer of the region Vince Oconnor, he could use it as his down town office.

Neil said...

If Town Hall already has bathrooms with water, sewer, sinks, toilets, electric lighting and heat, and Town Hall already has a janitor who is paid to keep the floors and restrooms clean, then why in god's good name are we building a public restroom on Kendrick Park?

Did the committee pick the Kendrick Park plan yet? If so, did the Select Board approve? Has the plan been funded?

Shaffer is too often going off half cocked. He is frequently out of touch with citizens. Finally, Shaffer is not elected and I'm growing tired of his lone ranger act.

On another matter, isn't Shaffer supposed to be hiring a economic development director for which we HAVE funding?

Fix up the TOILET we have, and spend the money on real infrastructure not a cold, smelly eyesore that taxpayers must pay additional fees to have cleaned and heated.

LarryK4 said...

Yes Neil, we spent $4 million a dozen years ago to renovate Town Hall (twice it failed as an Override but then Town Meeting financed it with a loan paid over ten years to bypass the voters) and the damn toilets did not get done.

Neither did the slate roof that required another $200,000 a few years later and lets not even talk about the "pointing" exterior mortar work--I believe around $600,000--that was just completed this past year.

Anonymous said...

**"Especially since it flies in the face of a generous old dead white guy."**

Kinda harsh don't ya think Larry? and what does being white have to do with anything?

Anonymous said...

Were the Kendricks friends of The Childs family in Northampton?
Did they share a vision for the land they donated for parks?

Bequeathed by Annie Childs in 1950, Childs Park is a place for quiet reflection and for savoring the smells, sounds, and sights of nature.

(and I'm sure Annie wasn't thinking about bathroom smells, sounds and sights)LOL

LarryK4 said...

Anon: 11:57 PM
Like the term "locked and loaded" the term "old, dead white males" is a rather common expression (usually used in the halls of academia--especially Women's Studies Departments) referring to our Founding Fathers or Presidents currently depicted on our currency.

Anon: 6:08 AM
No I don’t think the Kendrick’s interacted with the Childs as George Kendrick died at age 80 in 1930 thus triggering his Trust’s march towards clearing the 3-acre island of the 11 houses that were originally there.

Certainly their goals were the same.

Ed said...

The more I look at this, the more I think the town mangler is bad news. REAL bad news.

Lets look at the list - starting with the Boy Scouts and ending with the total custerf*** of traffic that his asinine plan to block half the access routes to campus.

Put an extra 10,000 cars through downtown each day, think that might make a mess of things?

Think it might make a BIG mess of things?

Anonymous said...

I am the former Anon March 27 11:57,
Larry-
Thank you for clarifying the expression, I have never heard that before and apoligize for spouting off at it.. Learn something new every day!!
Thanks

Anonymous said...

It seems really stupid to put a comfort station at the far end of town. If nature calls while you are at the farmers market should you schlep all the way down to Kendrick park? I guess if you build it, they will come?

Anonymous said...

They will come all right. Just as George Michael when the first sex offence arrest happens in this comfort station. I don't want my daughter or son going in there unattended.