Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let the sun shine


So the Town Manager wants to experiment with two photovoltaic solar panels, one on the DPW and another at the transfer station at a cost of $24,000 but will produce twice that amount in savings over the five year buy-out period.

Almost sounds too good to be true.

But I can’t help but wonder if the Town Manager went before the Planning Board, Zoning Board, Design Review Board and Historical Commission to get approval for the placement on the roof of the DPW building, which was originally the turn-of-the-century main Trolley station.

The Springfield Republican reports

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he will have Guatamalian worker install it like at Chestnut Ct(Amherst Housing Authority)?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a total cost calculation including staffing and maintenance on the public electricity project. Calling it an experiment doesn't engender my confidence in his thoroughness thinking through the strategy.

Also, Shaffer is ready to grant the tax benefits to Atkins and hope Atkins does a quid pro quo on the land sale. Why leave it to chance?

What is the public's interest in giving a for-profit business special tax treatment?

Anyway, if I was Atkins I'd use the land sale to lock in long term tax benefits.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, based on the Umass 5-year "strategic agreement" we know the town manager is a pushover negotiator.

What is the land really worth and what is the tax break worth? (the town manager seems to know the second half of that equation.)

So you just devise a quid pro quo that doesn't screw the taxpayers--and get it in writing.

Ed said...

You know, there are always independent petitions to the State Historical Commission relative to work being done on a historical building without proper review.

Amazing what a concerned citizen can do....

And don't get me going about the Amherst Housing Authority. There is nothing wrong with that outfit that an investigation by the FBI wouldn't cure....

And someone ought to check the whole thing out....

Ed said...

One other thing - do people know that there were at least TWO CONSECUTIVE audits by the state auditor that stated that "they were unable to conclude that the executive director was actually working the required 37.5 hours/week"?

This is a public record - you have to call Boston and ask for a copy, but it is a public record...

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, but the "independent petitions" from concerned (mostly retired) Umass folks did not work out well for the historic barn that come down to make room for the 'Death Star' $50 million recreation center.

Anonymous said...

Gimme a break. Not every old piece of junk has to remain standing. Some things have exceeded their lifespan. We are allowed to have some progress in this world, otherwise we'd all stil be living in caves.

Anonymous said...

How does one get an audit of the Amherst Housing Authority? I have a pile of evidence of fraud that needs to get exposed and it's costing the taxpayers alot of money.

Anonymous said...

As to the quote unquote 'Death Star,' UMass is competing with other universities and colleges to attract students. First class faciities and amenities are what bring in students. Surely, you understand investing in your business?

LarryK4 said...

Sure do. And since it is financed by "student fees" I'm assuming it will be free to students (thus keeping the vast majority on campus for their exercise needs.)

I'm only going to bitch if they start selling discount memberships to ANY Tom, Dick, Harry or Sally.

Anonymous said...

The proposed $1,500 in increase student fees is being rolled back due to "stimulus money". So, the only thing this money will do is stimulate some muscle fiber.

LarryK4 said...

Well, I'm sure the "athletic fee" is NOT the only student fee they pay (although there was a great hue and cry and about the $1,500 overall increase.)

That's what I love about bureaucracies: they treat this dollar different from that one.

In Amherst, a water/sewer fund dollar, or Chapter 70 state dollar (for roads and bridges) or a CPAC dollar (Community Preservation Funds) is somehow different--in a cheaper sort of way--from a basic general fund dollar (the ones that can fund teachers, emergency services or the town manager's salary).

But in private business you learn VERY quickly that it's simply money in vs. money out.

And a freakin dollar is a freakin dollar. PERIOD!

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of the above except a dollar is now 17 cents by 1920's standards. So 17 cents is 17 cents and those managing it have no sense.

Ed said...

The proposed $1,500 in increase student fees is being rolled back due to "stimulus money"

Oh no it isn't....

There was an email from Holub that stated that the fee was back. It is....