Friday, April 5, 2013
Show Me The Money!
So unlike Northampton, our real Sister City to the west, Amherst will not be voting on a Proposition 2.5 Override to balance the FY14 budget which starts July 1, 2013. Although in Hamp's defense, it should be noted their property tax rate is only $13.35 compared to Amherst's $19.74 per $1,000 of valuation.
In addition to $6.2 million in reserves (plus the Regional Schools $1 million) Amherst also has unspent monies stashed in capital accounts previously appropriated by Town Meeting. For instance the $200,000 for War Memorial Pool reconstruction.
After Town Meeting appropriated funds the state came through with a grant obviating the need for town money, so that's $200K sitting in an account without a mission.
Since it was appropriated for a recreational item at the town's oldest and largest playing field, why not use it to replace the aging wading pool with a spray park?
Spray parks are cheap to operate, easy to maintain, safe for our youngsters and not overly labor intensive. After all, our kids grow up to be taxpayers. And in this town, that's a heck of a burden.