Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Hold Your Horses
First laid out in 1912, Shumway Street is going to have to wait another year for a total renovation -- including water/sewer, sidewalk and of course the main road itself.
The entire street is only 940 feet long, connecting Main Street to College Street/Rt 9 with a neighborhood consisting of eight single family homes and one two-family home.
Like many streets in Amherst that 50 years ago would have been exclusively "owner occupied" Shumway Street has changed by the presence of UMass/Amherst. Now 4 of the 9 dwellings are rentals.
Perhaps one reason why Shumway Street is eligible for Community Development Block Grant funding which has income eligibility (middle-to-lower income) restrictions.
The town is going to receive $825,000 in CDBG funds this year and 65% of it must be spent on "non social service" items.
The DPW put in for $727,000 to cover the entire cost of renovating Shumway street but the committee who oversees the distribution of the funds is only recommending $233,742 be allocated.
And since the federal money does not become available until this coming October, the neighborhood improvement project will probably have to wait until next year.
The town will likely dip into Ch. 90 road funds to cover the other two-thirds funding.
Fortunately our new Republican Governor released an extra $100 million in "roads and bridges repair" funds (Ch. 90), which will result in a $400,000 bonus for Amherst.