Intersection of Sunderland and Montague Roads just before North Amherst Library
In addition to the four major building projects costing upwards of $100 million in town funds in our near and intermediate future, Amherst is also undertaking costly infrastructure improvements all over town.
Last night the Select Board unanimously approved a Town Meeting warrant article calling for $660,000 to purchase the gas station behind the North Amherst Library to coincide with intersection improvements to the North Amherst Center intersection known as Option D.
Last month the town applied for a $1.1 million MassWorks Grant to cover the actual cost of the construction but last year a grant request to improve traffic signals at that intersection was turned down.
As was (twice) a $4 million request to reconstruct Pine Street which the town later did on its own.
Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek told the Select Board last night the town will probably know by the November 14th start of Town Meeting if a $400,000 PARC grant for the Groff Park spray park is approved.
The spray park will replace the ancient wading pool
Town Meeting already approved $550,000 from Community Preservation Act funds and if the PARC grant doesn't materialized the other $400,000 will be requested during the upcoming CPA funding cycle to be voted on this spring by Town Meeting.
And still no word how the town will fund the much talked about and much protested roundabout at Triangle and East Pleasant Street, a main gateway to our beloved flagship of higher education UMass/AMHERST.
Work has been ongoing around this intersection since late Spring
The current construction project in the north downtown that seem to be taking forever is the result of a $1.5 million MassWorks grant for removing ugly utility poles by placing wires underground. But that money can't be used for the roundabout itself, which is sure to cost over a million.
And then there's that $17 million backlog in road repairs town wide ...