Tuesday, May 28, 2013

And Another One Gone

Four mighty oaks line west end of Kellogg Avenue last year

Kellogg Avenue looking barren with two pin oaks gone

While it took 114 years to grow from tiny acorn to a towering shade tree, it took less than four hours today to reduce the majestic pin oak on Kellogg Avenue into a tidy jigsaw puzzle of logs loaded on the back of a big truck.

The tree stood on Kellogg Avenue, town land, but unfortunately its roots trespassed on church property.  The Unitarian Universalist Society Church is in the midst of a major expansion, so cutting the roots in their way would have inevitably led to the death of the tree anyway.  Ah, the price of progress.

The diminished view from Rao's Coffee

Last week Amherst Town Meeting voted to grant the church $106,000 in public money  to restore a stained glass Tiffany window, Angel of the Lilies.

The cost to the general public for this expansion seems to keep going up.


Walter Graff said...

$106,000? Building could use a paint job too. And maybe a new sodded lawn. Plus that handicap ramp has seen better days. Why not give them another $94,000 and make it a cool $200k?

Larry Kelley said...

Don't give 'em any ideas.

Anonymous said...

Well, they did give the town a free parking lot for decades so I think the town got the better end of it with all the quarters that fed the meters.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually I'm told by an ultra reliable source:

"The leasehold was originally taken by eminent domain by the ARA back in the 1970s. The Society was paid $27,000 up front to cover a period of 15 years. The ARA/Town improved the lot, installed the parking meters, and took the proceeds (which, until the establishment of the Transportation Enterprise Fund, went into the General Fund).

A new lease was agreed to beginning July 1, 1993, which paid the Society $9,000/year ($2,250 quarterly). I suspect that the Society did not do too badly out of the deal, but neither did the Town in terms of meter/fine revenue and the availability of parking for members of the public.

In the end, everybody benefited."

Anonymous said...

Hardly progress.

Anonymous said...

A municipal entity -- town and/or ARA -- took property by eminent domain and gave it to a church? This is legal?

Anonymous said...

From pretty to pretty ugly. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

No, they took it from the church. You got it backwards.