Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pig In A Poke?

 Rock Farm, 650 South East Street

Tonight Amherst Town Meeting will be asked to tap Community Preservation Act funds -- that reserve of money that falls from the heavens -- to the tune of $125,000 to complete a public/private land deal that essentially only benefits neighbors living along South East Street.

I was surprised to learn no environmental study of the land had been completed, as a even a cursory examination of the property reveals potential environmental hazards:  three rusting 55 gallon oil drums.

Just one of the downsides brought on by using Other People's Money:  a lack of due diligence.  

55 gallon oil drum near collapsed structure

Another 55 gallon drum under debris

Rock Farm, South East Street Amherst. with 55 gallon drum hiding in plain sight

More good reasons to vote NO on Article 24C


Anonymous said...

For us not in the know, can you summarize the rub here? Why have the landowners had this about face of wanting the land to be sold to developers where in the past they fought it?

Larry Kelley said...

Oh, they probably have two friends lined up for the two building lots. At the very least they will make sure the lots are only sold to rich Democrats rather than a developer who would put in more units as the first two tried to do.

Larry Kelley said...

The land is currently owned by Greenfield Savings Bank, the same bank who tried to influence a negative outcome for the Rental Registration Bylaw Towm Meeting overwhelmingly passed.

Tom McBride said...

If the vote is left to town meeting it will be voted Yes. Today's Gazette didn't mention tonight's vote and last week's Bulletin only said "several zoning initiatives", mentioned other initiatives, but didn't mention 24C.

Larry Kelley said...

That's what you get for relying on the Gazette.

Anonymous said...

The land deal being put together by Kestrel Trust will permanently protect the 5+ acres of land along the bike path. The views from South East Street of the Pelham Hills and of the Holyoke Range from the bike path will be protected. The bike path, wetlands, vernal pool and areas below (which include Hop Brook and Fort River) all will be buffered. All of this benefits residents of Amherst, visitors and the abundant wildlife in this area. It also furthers the Open Space Plan's goal of protecting this area of South East Street. The two crusty lots--going to be sold to the bold willing to deal with those oilcans. Also, a benefit to Amherst, I think.

Janet McGowan

Anonymous said...

P.S. DCR is putting in $100k and many private citizens have donated $75k to pay for those 5 acres to be preserved. Tonight's article asks Town Meeting to add CPA money to go to the purchase of these 5 acres, not the 2 lots. There are a lot of people working hard to make this happen.

Larry Kelley said...

There always are a "lot of people." Amherst has an endless supply.