One of the downsides of the tide turning towards civility in the war on rowdyism -- albeit a minor one -- is the town treasury is taking a hit with those $300 noise/nuisance tickets not being issued.
Last year at this time (halfway through the budget) Amherst collected $111,793 in town bylaw fines while this year it's down 37% to $69,806.
Of course neighbors who value their sleep or the look of their yards on weekend mornings are not going to mind a bit -- especially since it's a pubic safety issue.
The Public Safety aspect (police, fire, dispatch, animal welfare) of town government is the largest segment of the town's operating budget (46%), but the lion's share is split almost evenly between Amherst Police Department at $4,767,221 proposed for FY16, and $4,466,729 for Amherst Fire Department.
So the $200,000 or so in annual fines collected is a drop in the bucket compared to APD's overall budget. The Town Manager in his proposed FY16 budget is, finally, adding two police officers to bolster their enemic ranks.
Amherst Fire Department, on the other hand, will not see any additional staffing even though their calls have been rising annually at a rate greater than inflation.
Interestingly 75% of AFD runs are for Emergency Medical Services, as all personnel are crossed trained to either run into burning buildings or stabilize and transport sick/injured patients.
Unlike fire calls, the department does collect fees for ambulance services which is the vast majority of what they do. The last few years that has amounted to over $2 million dollars annually, enough to fund half their overall budget (although Town Meeting, NOT AFD, controls how that money is spent).
The town has 5 ambulances but usually cannot staff them all
Two years ago in his FY14 budget the Town Manager predicted $2,195,723 in Ambulance Fund revenues, but due to a typically all-too-busy year the fund took in $2,533,728, or $338,000 in excess revenues.
None of which was spent to hire additional staff.