The attendance peaked at 35
The town probably set a new record for number of meeting participants with a joint meeting of 5 boards/committees and town staff: Select Board, Finance Committee, School Committee, Jones Library Trustees, DPW/Fire Station Study Committee.
And before the digital dust settled the final tally for all four building projects presented came to $100 million in town money, or one tenth of a BILLION.
The purpose of the meeting was to briefly pitch their individual projects and then hear about how the town might finance all of them.
With total town savings in Free Cash and Stabilization at around $12 million only the Fire Station could be immediately paid for out of savings alone. But unfortunately the South Fire Station is scheduled to be the last of the four projects to break ground.
The $67 million Mega School is already scheduled to go first on the November 8 ballot with a debt exclusion that will cost town taxpayers about half that total amount.
And the other project funded via a $12 million debt exclusion with be the $32 million Jones Library expansion with the state paying $15 million and private donations covering $5 million.
The $50 million or so from those two debt exclusions, if passed, will cost the average single family homeowner $500 per year. Amherst already is in the top ten in the state for high property tax rates.
The DPW/Fire Station Study Committee will come to Town Meeting in November with a request for $350,000 in "schematic design" for the DPW project and $75,000 for the "feasibility and site design" of the new Fire Station.