Abandoned house (but not the property) on South East Street
So to repeat what I wrote yesterday about the coordinated PR surge Amherst and UMass are now jointly putting forth on the their solutions to problem party houses in town, I question if either has the will to actually back up their tough talk. And now, for your consideration, I present exhibit B:
Board of Health Problem Houses
Interesting that this "list" of dwellings the Board of Health has dealt with since the June 30 start of FY13 does not give exact addresses?
When a public health problem rises to the level of being placed on a watch list, that list becomes a public document. And since the Board of Health is an investigatory body with state mandated powers I assume they put the exact address on their list.
So why protect them from public exposure? Don't neighbors have a right to know about a problem house in their neighborhood (although they are usually all too familiar). Isn't that why the state has a Sex Offender rule for public exposure of their whereabouts?
Notice the Board of Health has issued only one fine (to a house somewhere on Glendale Road) out of the 60 or so locations on the list, or under 2%. No indication if it was for the $50 minimum or $1,000 maximum, or anywhere in between.
And it's also interesting that this fine was issued only last week. Since this powerpoint slide is to be presented tomorrow night to the Amherst Select Board as part of the Town Manager's report on "Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods", a conspiracy theorist might think they just randomly picked one token house to fine in order to demonstrate toughness.
At least the 9/13 basement apartment fire at Gilreath Manor on Hobart Lane shows up (but only as "Hobart Lane"). At least we now have an official admission from the town that those basement apartments were indeed illegal. And they have given the owners an "Order To Correct"... at least.
That seems to be an apt description for the efforts the town and UMass are showing for enforcement action: At least.