Thursday, June 9, 2011

Development Tornado

Lincoln Apartments Wednesday 6/8

In addition to the town allowing the clear cutting of trees in the Atkins Corner Road Reconstruction project, our neighbors to the north are also whacking some sizable timber around Lincoln Apartments.

UMass is of course exempt from local oversight, so the Amherst tree warden has no authority--not that he defensively chained himself to any of the trees in South Amherst, now gone like the wind .

Speaking of Atkins Corner, the dirt piles all around Atkins keep getting bigger. I'm told that the town sponsored project in front does have in the contract a "general dust control clause". Let's hope they institute it today, as the temperature once again soars into the high 90s.

Atkins Corner Wednesday 6/8

11 comments:

Ed said...

If UMass is increasingly considered a "municipality" -- police mutual aid, riot statutes, etc -- then why is it exempt from having public hearings on shade tree removal?

They took TWO truckloads of timber out of Lincoln -- six massive trees. Two more went last fall, and two Maples along Lincoln Avenue went the spring before when they redid the sidewalks.

There are two more left -- folks, lets watch them cut them down too...

Anonymous said...

what does the dust control clause say? this should be a public document.

LarryK4 said...

I'll ask. It gets a little murky since it is a (large) private company actually doing the work.

Anonymous said...

A private company being paid with public dollars doesn't have the right to keep its contract secret. A town can't keep its construction contracts secret either. There is a public bidding process and all those documents are public after the process is over.

Ed said...

If it is a large company, then they do work in the eastern portion of the state, and I can assure you that dirt piles there are required to be covered -- as they are in other states (I forget which state it was, but I saw several examples of this on the Amtrak run up from DC).

BTW -- dust control is to their benefit too -- diesel engines really don't like grit and air filters only do so much...

LarryK4 said...

My (starting to get irritated) source does not have a copy of the contract on hand, but he is going to ask the DOT about dust control.

And Ed, he wants you to know: "The tree warden only has control of Public shade trees in the Town Ways. He has no control on private property. Half the removals at the Atkins project were on private easements for grading. This land remains in the hands of the property owners and is still on the tax rolls."

Anonymous said...

Why not ask the town for a copy of the contract? Or the state agency paying for the work?

LarryK4 said...

Because I don't want to piss off my source too much.

I think he is going to ask the state agency paying for the work.

Anonymous said...

Trying not to be a hypochondriac here ... but the other morning, I could barely open my eyes. Could this be dust?

Ed said...

If your source is who I think it is, he is more upset about those particular trees going than I am -- but you both missed my point:

UMass is PUBLIC land, owned by the Commonwealth, and now that it legally is defined as a "municipality" by statute, why does it not need to have its OWN tree warden and follow the same procedures that the town would to cut down a tree on the common?

Anonymous said...

could be that, pollen, or hanging out with Matt until the wee hours....