Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fire & Brimstone

First Congregational Church bottom, The Evergreens and Dickinson Homestead on left center & top
 
After originally approving $150,000 of the $200,000 Emily Dickinson Museum request for a fire suppression system at The Evergreens early in the meeting, a few hours later the Community Preservation Act Committee circled back to the request and added another $40,000 bringing it within 5% of the initial request.

CPAC member Jim Brissette had originally spoken against the request a few meetings back, worrying every historically significant building in town would be requesting fire suppression systems.  But he said the testimony he heard convinced him the Museam is a special -- almost unique -- case and worthy of the added protection despite the cost.

Chair Mary Streeter was not as convinced saying Amherst College should be able to come up with the extra $50,000 that the committee originally cut.  But supporters pointed out the College was matching the CPA request dollar for dollar, so that $50,000 cut was really a $100,000 cut.

The Committee was not as generous with the First Congregational Church, whittling their $357,647 request down to $200,000.  Vice Chair Paris Boyce voted against any money saying since the Church was doing a million in renovations, mainly an elevator, so they simply picked an item, fire suppression, that fell within the guidelines of the CPA.

The $390,000 approved for both historic structures still needs Town Meeting approval but that is all but guaranteed.

At the begining of the meeting the CPAC also approved recommending Town Meeting allow the $190,148 approved last year for rehabilitation of the North Common in front of Town Hall be used for that purpose. 

The original approval was contingent on a $400,000 PARC grant, but the state denied that request for the second time.  Thus town officals will return to the CPAC in a couple years for additional funding.


North Common is the centerpiece of downtown

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a fucking joke this town has turned into. We can't keep the roads in repair but we can waste big money on this senseless shit!

Anonymous said...

40,000 elitists would be happy in Amherst if we could just get rid of the rest of the white trash.

What a joke of public finances, let's replace these fools with the mob, same business model, more efficient spending, win, win.

Anonymous said...

Here here!

Scrooge McDuck said...

Agree 100% with previous posts; the town is squandering tax dollars left and right. Time for a new charter and fiscal responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I love Community Preservation Act and CPAC but I am having trouble with Amherst College's Emily Dickinson Museum request and the Congregaional Church's fire system. How can Amherst College ask for this money after spending $100k to move one tree? CPAC money going to system upgrades and maintenance that should be in an ordinary budget?

Larry Kelley said...

Well I think Amherdt College would respond (not that I want to speak for them) that the anonymous doner paid for the moving of the Camperdown Elm.

Some on the CPA Committee were more concerned that their entire budget for all projects was $2 Million while Amherst College has $2 Billion is savings.

Anonymous said...

Where does the town find these financially ignorant people? Who in hell allows these idiots to control so much tax money to begin with? Good intentions-bad implementation.

Anonymous said...

Makes me wonder, Amherst often puts many many smart people in a room to think critically for hours to decide on budget stuff. (opposite of smart, but) What if these smart folks took this time to earn money and donated it vs. Endless debates...it would likely add up. If someone is smart enough to contribute, $25 would be a low rate. What if we took all the hours x all the people at the meetings x A $25 per hour for their value and added it up, how much would we have.....this is how much the meetings are worth or waste....meanwhile these folks are ignoring their kids....which from this blog, we know do not often grow up to be responsible.....they become citizens in need of a blarney police state....

Anonymous said...

Where is the separation of church and state that protects us from having a state sponsored official religion ? This is public tax money for "religion" we fought the American Revolution to protect us from such European Fascism-some seem unclear of the concept of law/ constitution !!

Anonymous said...

There is no "separation of C&S" clause in any founding document. The First Amendment stiates that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof.