Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Digs

DPW aka "The Barn"

The new DPW building, a possible $20 million project, is moving along faster than sludge in a sewer line.

Consultants Weston & Sampson were recently chosen out of 7 who applied for the $52,000 contract to help ascertain needs for the new building.   Their report is expected to be completed in two months, in time for Fall Town Meeting.

 Central Fire Station built 1929, when FD equipment was a lot smaller than today

The new Fire Station, also a possible $20 million project, is closely tied to the DPW project because that could become the location for the desperately needed new station.  Kind of like living in a family of many siblings and having to wait for the bathroom in the morning.

And since they don't call it "Central" for nothing, FD's current location -- within spitting distance of the Jones Library and CVS parking lot where a new garage is contemplated -- could be instantly put to good use either by the private or public sector.

The town is simultaneously pursuing two other major capital projects, the Wildwood School renovation and the Jones Library expansion/renovation.  Those two projects have the benefit of state funding, 50% for the Library and almost two-third reimbursement for the school project.

According to Finance Director Sandy Pooler the report from the consultants before summer's end will set the stage for the floodgates to open.

But then, how fast does sludge really move?

 Farm across the street from DPW, anticipating loss of 50' row of arborvitae, planted new trees


Anonymous said...

Thanks Larry. I wish the town would divert some salary money to capital expenditures so that we could avoid bond issues.

And look at all those empty spaces in the CVS lot.... not sure whether that is just because it's summer?

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah that's part of it. I also took this photo around 9:00 AM, so still a little early.

The town side of that parking lot always gets less traffic that the CVS (free) side.

Anonymous said...

To answer your question Larry, 3 to 5 feet per second.

Anonymous said...

Why is the DPW site a better location for stationing ambulances or at least one (smaller) firetruck? Seems like the center location is closer to both the largest population center and also the major roadways (Rtes 9 and 116), while the DPW site is far from - and a long uphill climb to - there!

Larry Kelley said...

AFD gave up using horses a long time ago so the incline to town center is no problem.

Anonymous said...

Sounds kinda depressing Larry
The fire house, and the fire fighters stationed there, contribute a lot to the atmosphere of downtown.
How about getting smaller fire trucks and ambulances? They seem to work in the incredibly dense European cities.

Larry Kelley said...

This ain't Europe.

Anonymous said...

I still don't see the necessity of the library expansion project, even if it is 50% subsidized. It's not a done deal yet, is it? Doesn't it need to come back to Town Meeting for approval?

Anonymous said...

with all expensive planned infrastructure projects, what's going to happen to property taxes in this town & who will be able to afford to live in Amherst anymore. my taxes are plenty high enough.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes Anon 8:45 PM, it will require Town Meeting approval.

Anonymous said...

With the majority of their calls medical and most actual fire calls not involving the need to tap a hydrant, the case for a small fire truck and ambulance stationed at Central has merit. What percentage of their calls actually need a real fire truck?

And what's wrong with the building the DPW has? Put a fire station in the parking lot and call it done cheaply.

Anonymous said...

Surely the library maintains a list of which materials are less popular. I would guess (investigative journalism be damned) that a lot of older materials have not been checked out, say, in the last 5 years. Why not clear out the old stuff, rather than create new space? Have the library trustees considered this option?