Amherst Town Meeting 7:01 PM (almost ready to start)
Proving the old adage about a stopped clocked being occasionally correct, Amherst Town Meeting managed to make it through an entire session without screwing up, completing the 15 article warrant last night in record time, two hours and forty five minutes.
Although the usual voices from the margin gave it a good college try.
Newer of ye old landfills already has a commercial Transfer Station located there
Best news to report is a large scale Solar array will come to the newer of the old landfills as that project has near unanimous support.
Ye old landfill
Despite the usual complaints from neighbors living in the upscale area next to the other, older, landfill Town Meeting gave the Town Manager, described by offbeat member Carol Gray as a "blank check," the right to negotiate Net Metering Credits, lease the newer/old landfill to SunEdison and negotiate with them a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes.
Let's hope the Town Manager does the same with ye old landfill and maybe throw in a few extra tall wind turbines as well.
North Common in front of Town Hall has not had major work in a generation or two
With little discussion Town Meeting voted almost unanimously for Community Preservation Act spending of $190,000 for renovation to the historic North Common and $240,000 for an ADA pre-school playground at Crocker Farm Elementary School.
Amherst Regional Middle School: currently grades 7&8 (used to include grade 9 as well)
The $150,000 spending item to renovate the Amherst Regional Middle School to allow Leisure Services and Supplemental Education (Rec Dept) to relocate from the Bangs Community Center so a community health center can move there did stimulate a bit of discussion although it still passed overwhelmingly.
Member Janet McGowan asked if this would preclude using the Middle School as a Kindergarten through 8th grade in the controversial restructuring now being considered for Amherst elementary education?
One of the excuses for not tapping the underused Middle School is that it is "owned by the Region", even though Amherst makes up more than 80% of the Region.
And this move of a town department into a region owned facility makes it look like recreation is more important than the education of children.
Ms. McGowan's question went unanswered.
Town Meeting concluded with an easy one, spending $170,500 (matched by a state grant) to purchase 141 acres in Pelham, aka "Romer Woods," adjacent to Hills Reservoir. Amherst is nothing if not careful with its drinking water supply.
Romer Woods abuts Hills Reservoir, Pelham
Although, considering the controversies Amherst is famous for, many outsiders wonder what exactly is in our water supply.