Colorful barn at 332 West Street, South Amherst front view
Side viewEven though Amherst Town Meeting approved $75,000 in Community Preservation Act funds almost two years ago for rehabilitation of the historic barn that's hard to miss on West Street (Rt. 116) in South Amherst, the barn may not survive much longer.
The town tax money was never spent and the property just changed hands at the beginning of this month.
And the barn today looks sadder than it did two years ago when the CPA committee was told the owners insurance company wanted it removed immediately because it was a liability/safety issue.
Interim Town Manager Dave Ziomek will give the Community Preservation Act Committee an update next month as town officials are trying to talk the new owner into saving the landmark.
I asked town assessor David Burgess if renovating the structure would increase the valuation of the property hence increasing the tax burden on the homeowner:
If the barn is restored then the value would probably go up and, in anticipation of your next question, no not by $75,000. I imagine if that much money was set aside it would be to replicate what how the building was originally, i.e. historical materials, whereas assessments are based on replacement costs in today’s materials for the same use.
The assessor was more concerned about why the property just sold for well under his current assessed value.