Town Manager Report for October 16, 2023



Editor’s note: Town Manager Paul Bockelman submits a comprehensive report to the Town Council, usually at the first Town Council meeting of each month. The reports, usually 9 to 15 pages in length, provide up-to-date information on what is happening within and across town departments. The Manager’s Report is usually one of the last items on the agenda and is often taken up late at night, leaving little time for Bockelman to do more than mention a few highlights and this is usually all that gets entered into the Council minutes. What follows is a complete, unedited version of the Town Manager’s Report. All Town Manager Reports are available here on the Town’s website

TOWN CLERK – Special Election Edition

•   Register to Vote and Other Deadlines:





BALLOT                                   TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31 (5PM IN-PERSON)




•   Voting: There are several ways for registered voters to vote which you can find here:

▪   In-Person Early Voting: Early voting will take place in the First Floor Conference Room in Town Hall. Free, reserved parking is available at the Main Street entrance to Town Hall. Here are the days and hours for voting: Monday – Friday; October

30th  – November 3rd; 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Additional information can be found here:

▪  Vote by Mail: Ballots are being printed and will be sent out to all who requested.

We are projecting that voters should receive ballots in the mail the week of October 23rd. If you requested a mail-in ballot and have not received it by the end of that week, please call the Town Clerk’s office or write to TownClerk Additional information on voting by mail can be found here:

▪  Absentee Voting: Information on absentee voting can be found here:


•   Outreach:

•   Cuppa Joe with Paul:

▪   We had a Cuppa Joe with Paul on Friday, September 8th  with special guest Brianna Sunryd, which was followed by a farewell get-together for Brianna. We held it outside under a tent in Sweetser Park and had a great turnout.

▪   The next Cuppa is scheduled for Friday, October 27th; special guest and location to be announced.

•   Council Candidate Forum: Town department heads offered an overview of most of our departmental operations to Council candidates on October 11th. A link to the presentation is here: Council Candidate Presentation 2023 I can send the slide deck that was presented by our department heads upon request. Many thanks to those candidates – incumbent and new – who were able to attend. And I was especially proud of the work done by our talented and dedicated Town staff. Thanks to you all!

•   Community Outreach Officers:

▪   The University and the Town held Neighborhood Resource Fairs in the following neighborhoods:

•   Fearing Street Neighborhood: September 14th

•   Farview Neighborhood: September 19th

•   Lower Main Street neighborhood: September 26th.

▪    CPOs attended the Well Being Fair at Amherst College on September 15th and encouraged the Amherst College community to “Get Involved!”. Staff offered information about voter registration, volunteer opportunities, polling information, and sign-ups for safety alerts.

▪    Assistant DEI Director and Community Participation Officer Jennifer Moyston was a featured speaker at the United Way kick-off event at the University of Massachusetts. Jennifer and Treasurer-Collector Jennifer LaFountain have been spearheading the Town’s United Way Campaign for the last ten years. The Town has been an active participant in the United Way Campaign for 27 years. Jennifer also serves as the Board President of the Amherst Survival Center, a board member of Community Action of Pioneer alley, and a board member of the Hilltown Community Health Center. Busy? You bet!


•   Administration and Finance

Human Resources:

▪  Town Manager Performance Review: The Human Resources department and other

Town staff will again offer support to the Town Council President and Town

Council in the management of the performance review of the Town Manager.

▪   Finance Director Search: The Human Resources Director has initiated search for a new Finance Director after reviewing and updating the position description.

▪  Communications Director: We will be initiating the search for a new

Communications Director after reviewing and updating the position description.

Police Chief Search

•   We have engaged a professional search firm, GovHR, Inc.

to conduct outreach to the community, develop a position profile, and support the Human Resources Director in advertising and recruiting; to develop interview standards and questions; and to conduct a background check on the appointed candidate.

•   The consultants were in Town for two days on September 11th  and 12th  and met with over 120 people during that period including two public meetings – one at the Bangs Community Center and one at the Jones Library – along with community members, meetings with staff from the police department, meetings with Town department heads, school district personnel, leadership from higher education, and two groups of students organized through the School Department and Recreation Department.

•   The consultants also had one-on-one meetings with elected officials and members of the Human Rights Commission, Community and Public Safety

Committee, and former members of the Community Safety Working Group.

•   There was also an online Public Feedback Form people were asked to fill out.

•   I am awaiting the consultant’s report which will inform the position posting.

o Finance:

▪  Chapter 90: We have been notified that the Town’s Chapter 90 FY24

appropriation will be $830,953.02. This is in line with our budgeted amount.

▪   Taxes: Real estate tax payments are due November 1st  for all parcels in Amherst.  For online payments or balance due information check  Enter your house number and only 4 letters of street name (let the system “wildcard” the rest). You can also pay in person at Town Hall Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. And there is a 24-hour drop box at the Main Street entrance to Town Hall.

▪   Budget: The Finance staff and Clerk of the Council are finalizing the budget deadlines and tasks as we start to move into our budget season. Department heads are working on their baseline budget documents as we begin the process of building the Town’s budget.

▪   Audit: The Town’s auditors are engaged in their preliminary field work where they select a specific department and audit financial actions in that department. The auditors are scheduled to be in Town during the weeks of November 6th  and 27th.

▪   Cybersecurity: The Town has been aggressive in ensuring the Town’s information technology infrastructure is protected and staff are trained to avoid unwanted intrusions. We continue to receive every more sophisticated attempts to breach our system. I urge all users with Town email addresses – including Town Councilors – to be vigilant about email you receive and to NOT click on any links unless you are 100% positive about the sender. We continue to “harden” our systems to try to prevent intrusions and to isolate damage, if there is a breach.

o DEI Department:

▪  Events:

•   Latinx Heritage Day: The DEI staff worked with the Human Rights Commission and Recreation Department to celebrate Latinx Heritage Day on September 24th. The event had to move into the Bangs Community Center due to inclement weather.

▪  Workshops:

•   The Assistant Director of Workforce Equity and Inclusive Leadership at Amherst College has agreed to offer two DEI workshops for Town staff in October and November.

•   We will be promoting this and sharing additional workshops that will be held during the next six months.

•   Staff at Jones Library will be offered a DEI workshop next week.

•   Staff in Town Hall and the Recreation Department will have two dates offered in October.

▪   Reparations: The African Heritage Reparation Assembly completed its work and submitted its final report to the Town Council which will be presented at its

meeting on Monday.

▪  Community Visioning:

•   The DEI Department is working on multiple community visioning

sessions, focused on the “Beloved Community” model and working with

Dr. Barbara Love.

•   The train the trainer sessions led by Dr. Love took place in the Bangs

Center on Monday and Tuesday evening September 25th  and 26th  from 5:00 to 9:30 p.m.

▪   Resident Oversight Board: The RFP process for the Resident Oversight Board did not result in our engaging a consultant. The DEI Director has developed several alternative paths to expedite the process of establishing a Board and has sought new bids to attract more competitive proposals.

▪   Police Protocols: Work on police protocols will be a priority for the permanent chief, once appointed.

▪  CRESS: See the update on the CRESS Department below.

▪  Youth Empowerment:

•   AmeriCorps Member Asa Stanley-Kemler has begun outreach efforts to youth. This position is working exclusively on youth programming, which is an initial step of involving youth in the development of an Empowerment Center. The first gathering of youth will take place in October.

•   I am working to establish a task force to move the concept of a Youth

Empowerment Center forward.

Public Safety

o Police Department:

▪  Crisis Intervention Team and Co-Response: For years, the Police Department has employed a traditional Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model for training and response to people in Town with behavioral and mental health disorders.

•   The Town’s CIT program is funded by an annual Department of Mental Health (DMH) grant (sometimes referred to as jail diversion grant). The DMH grant provides the Town with funds for training. This program has been in place for close to a decade.

•   One of the early tenets of CIT was a co-response with clinical staff model.

DMH has been urging departments to employ a clinician with additional grant funds for a several years. The Town has coordinated historically with Clinical and Support Options of Northampton (CSO) as the department’s Emergency Services Program (ESP), and the Town’s police officers have participated with co-response, aftercare, and resource connections. There was a major shift in the leadership at CSO in 2019, and they began promoting in-house clinicians into the area police departments for real time responses as well as structured aftercare.

•   The program was paused during the pandemic. As we emerged from the pandemic in late 2021, CSO started hiring additional clinical staff and CSO

hired a staff person who began in Amherst in May 2022. He resigned in

June 2023 to take a job with the Department of Mental Health. CSO has been searching for a new clinician since then as a replacement.

•   The new clinician hired has extensive experience prior to coming to CSO.

It is important to note that the clinician works for CSO and not the Town of Amherst Police Department. The new clinician will coordinate her services outside of the Police Department just as her predecessor did, which includes working with the Town’s CRESS Department, Craig’s Doors, etc.

•   Many police agencies have co-response programs in our area including Hadley, Easthampton, Northampton, Holyoke, Greenfield,  and Belchertown. DMH always says, “there is enough trauma and crisis to go around”.

•   In conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week, the Amherst Fire Department will again host an Open House at the Town’s Central (downtown) firestation at 68 North Pleasant Street, on Saturday, October 14th, from 10am to 2pm.

•   This event willfeature something for all ages, and will include Fire and EMS vehicles and equipment on display, demonstrations such as the “Jaws of Life,” safety information and other giveaways from both the fire department and other agencies, and refreshments.  We hope to have a visit from Smokey Bear as well!  He event will be held rain or shine.

▪  Staffing:

•   The Fire Department’s three new recruits have been in training for several weeks and have taken well to it.

•   We have interviewed candidates I have appointed four additional firefighters who will begin in November.

•   We continue to recruit for additional firefighter/paramedics.

o Community Responders Department:

▪  Interim Leadership Team:

•   I established an Interim Leadership Team to fill the need for leadership in the Department. This team is led by three highly experienced leaders who have experience in supervision, budget management, grant management, and program development. The Interim Leadership Team is led by DEI Director Pamela Nolan-Young and includes Fire Chief Tim Nelson, Police

Sergeant Janet Griffin, and CRESS Implementation Manager Kat Newman. The Interim Leadership Team’s mission is to help stabilize the department it can continue and further develop the Department’s work. It is important to recognize that all members of the Interim Leadership Team – and I, as Town Manager – are committed to the continued establishment of the CRESS Department as an important part of the Town’s public safety response.

•   This leadership structure is similar to the Implementation Team that worked to establish CRESS and move it from concept to a real department.

That Implementation Team included Police Chief Scott Livingstone, Fire Chief Tim Nelson, current Assistant DEI Director Jennifer Moyston, and the co-chairs of the former Community Safety Working Group, Brianna Owen and Ellisha Walker. Others participating included Captain Gabriel Ting, CSWG member Russ Vernon  Jones, and Dispatch Leader Michael Curtin and others from time to time.

•   Pamela, Janet, and Kat meet every morning to discuss the ongoing operations/day-to-day aspects of the CRESS department. These three members of the Leadership Team also meet with the community responders each morning to help structure the day, review activities from the day before, and provide guidance and resources on active cases during the course of operations.

•   The Interim Leadership Team has established weekly in-service days to promote ongoing training for the department and professional development for the CRESS responders. Some examples of in-service topics/trainings


o Radio review, communication policies, and call types (IT and


o Trauma-Informed Training on Intimate Partner Abuse (led by


o CIT Youth training (hosted by Western MA CIT and TTAC)

•   The Leadership Team established an IT meeting to support equipment needs/to support department expansion

•   On September 19th, the Interim Leadership Team dedicated an entire day to an all-day retreat to allow responders to ask questions of the Interim Leadership Team, participate in a restorative justice circle, set expectations, and review the CRESS Department’s mission and values.

•   Two weeks ago, The Town hosted three members of the Massachusetts

Department of Public Health (DPH) staff to Town. CRESS Responders, all members of the Interim Leadership Team, the Town’s Senior Accountant, and Town Manager met with the DPH staff for CRESS’s first-ever site

visit for CRESS’s Equitable Approaches to Public Safety (EAPS) grant, a

major source of funding for the Department.

▪  Staffing:

•   There is funding for eight Community Responders. Eight were hired and went through the training in the summer of 2022. One Community Responder resigned at the end of the training. A new Community Responder was hired to replace that person which kept the staffing at eight. A couple months ago, one Community Responder resigned and that position has yet to be filled. More recently, two Community Responders

gave notice of their intention to resign. One said he would be working in the School District. With these two resignations, we are down to five Community Responders working daily. We are advertising and recruiting for new Community Responders to fill the vacancies.

▪  911 Calls:

•   Dispatching certain 911 calls directly to the Community Responders is a major goal for the Town. This is a complex issue that must be done with great care and attention to the public’s safety. In speaking with other similar departments around the country, we know accepting and

responding to these emergency calls is very important – and it takes a lot of time to make sure we get it right. We have made major progress through our collective bargaining agreements and have successfully addressed

some of the important issues raised by our Dispatchers. We have more work to do on this to ensure both the Dispatchers and the Community Responders are prepared when we begin dispatching calls.

▪  Community engagement:

•   Members of the CRESS Department staff continue to engage in a variety of community engagement events. Some examples of recent/upcoming events include:

o Neighborhood Resource Fairs

▪  09/14 (Phillips Street)

▪  09/19 (Valley Lane)

o 09/21 Block Party

o 09/27 Monthly Veteran’s Luncheon at the Unitarian Universalist


o 10/03 Annual Rolling Green Pizza Party Event (CRESS led a

children’s slime making activity

o 09/21, upcoming 10/05 CRESS worked with the Asian American

Club at Amherst Regional High School to support with powerlifting

101 sessions with students.

o Upcoming, 10/10 Crocker Farm PreK Open House (CRESS will help provide transportation to families who otherwise would be unable to attend due to transportation barriers)

o 09/25 and 09/26 Three CRESS staff and the shared DEI/CRESS AmeriCorps member attended the Liberatory Visioning sessions conducted by Dr. Barbara Love to facilitate Liberatory Visioning Circles that DEI hosted.

o Upcoming, 10/06 CRESS and the Jones Library established a monthly meeting to support ongoing CRESS/library relations.

•   Individual case highlights:

o CRESS, along with Veteran’s Services and the Police Department’s Animal Welfare Officer, were able to support housing for a senior veteran and his animal in need.

o When CRESS met with Dispatch, Dispatch stated they noted a decrease in calls from the Jones Library. CRESS Responders have had an office space and ongoing presence in the Jones Library since the spring.

o Citizen assists, business/town department assists, CRESS follow- ups, and wellness checks continue to be the majority of CRESS Department calls.

o We have experienced an uptick in calls for senior citizen support in the last month (wellbeing checks and CRESS follow-ups via phone and e-mail)

•   Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab: The Town was admitted into the 2023-2024 Alternative 9-1-1 Emergency Response Implementation Cohort of the Government Performance Lab (GPL) at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. We participate in weekly meetings with the cohort group and will be the beneficiary of

intense one-on-one meetings beginning in January. The focus of this cohort group is developing the capacity and protocols to accept 911 calls, an important threshold issues for departments like ours. I had the opportunity to meet with the leaders of the GPL lab at the conference I attended last week. I also was able to meet with the leaders of the Durham, North Carolina HEART program, which is a program that we have spent a lot of time studying as a model for CRESS.

•   Community Services

o Public Health:

▪  West Nile Virus:

•  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced on

October 4th  that West Nile virus (WNV) had been detected through a positive sample from one mosquito in the Town of Amherst.

•    WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

•    The risk level in Amherst is still categorized as “low” as indicated on  the  state’s  R isk  Level  Map , which is updated regularly.

•    Because cooler temperatures will be arriving soon, the likelihood of disease transmission is low. However, the Town of Amherst Public Health Department recommends that community members continue to take measures to prevent mosquito-borne illness. Using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and long pants from dusk to dawn is recommended until temperatures consistently fall below 50 degrees in the evening. Although mosquitoes are not killed until a hard frost occurs, they are extremely unlikely to be active when temperatures fall below 50 degrees. There is no prohibition on outdoor events and activities on town properties and fields.

•  The Public Health Department will continue to work closely with DPH and will keep the public updated with new information as it becomes available.

o Recreation: The Recreation Department is preparing for Halloween-fest at the Bangs

Community Center on October 29th.

o Senior Center:

▪  Health Fair: The Second Annual Senior Center Health Fair is on Tuesday,

October 17th from 2-4 pm at the Bangs Community Center. Local providers will be onsite to answer questions and help the community take steps towards a better lifestyle! Medicare Open Enrollment is underway and it’s the perfect time to think about your health and meet local providers. This year the Senior Center is partnering with a number of organizations who provide mental health services, hearing services, medication management, and more. Providers include: Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line, UMass Kinesiology, Christopher Heights, Hospice of the Fisher Home, MedMinder, Mass General Brigham/Cooley Dickinson, Highland Valley Elder Services, Health New England, and more!

▪   Newsletter: The new newsletter from the Department of Senior Services – which includes a listing of all of the dozens of workshops and meetings being offered by the Department –  Amherst Senior Spirit, is now available:

▪   Rainbow Coffee Hour: The Senior Center is sponsoring a monthly gathering of members of the LGBTQI+ communities for a social hour with “No agenda; No format; Just community.” The coffee hour is held in the Bangs Community Center.

▪   CR Café: The Senior Center is continuing its weekly CR Café, which stands for “Can’t Remember” café! Every Wednesday from 10am – 12noon, Town residents are invited to the Senior Center to enjoy company, entertainment, and some good treats!

o Veterans Services:

▪  The Department holds a monthly Veterans Lunch program, sponsored by the

CRESS Department, on the last Wednesday of every month at 12:00 noon at the Unitarian Universalist Society. We encourage Town Councilors – and any members of the public, to stop by and support our Veterans.

▪  The Department is preparing for the traditional Veterans Day event on November

11th.  The flag ceremony will occur at the Central Fire Station and the Department is planning a breakfast and gift bag delivery for veterans.

•   Conservation and Development

o Planning:

▪  The Town has reactivated our search for a Planner as the Department is still short

of one staff member. The Town is also seeking a housing planner utilizing funds specifically designed to support affordable housing.

▪   The Town’s Community Preservation Act Grant application window opens on September 1st  and closes on September 30th. The Community Preservation Act Committee welcomes applications for projects in support of Community Housing, Historic Preservation, Open Space, and Recreation. Information can be found here:

o Economic Development:

▪  Block Party: The BID Block Party

was held on September 21st  and was a huge success. Many said it was the largest and best Block Party in the Town’s history. Thanks to the Amherst Business Improvement District and Town staff who worked

to make it such a success.

▪  Cultural Council:

•   The Cultural Council had a strong presence at the BID Block Party on September 21st as the Council sponsored the Showcase Stage for

performing artists.

•   The 2023-24 Grant Cycle has officially opened. An information session was held

on September 28th. Go to Council for links to the Zoom sessions, application portal, and more.

•   Please fill out the Council’s Community Survey by October 22nd  (link also posted at the page above).

o Sustainability:

▪  Valley Green Energy:  Amherst, Northampton, and Pelham formed Valley Green

Energy, a new electricity program that intends to bring cleaner electricity, stable electricity prices, and new electricity choices.

▪   Solar: The solar community outreach report from GZA is complete and has been provided to the Solar Bylaw Working Group and Energy and Climate Action Committee, as well as Department Heads. The solar feasibility mapping tool is nearly complete and anticipated to be available soon.

▪   ValleyBike: The ValleyBike member communities are looking for a contractor to get the network of short-term rental bicycles back out on the street in 2024 after a yearlong absence.

•   An estimated $700,000- to $1.5 million-a-year subsidy is needed to run the network. All transportation systems and infrastructure are subsidized.

• The City of Northampton is the lead agency on Valley Bike and received six responses when it issued a request for information process seeking qualified operators.

• The next step is to secure funding to move into the operational stage.

• The old operator, Bewegen, went out of business earlier this year.

• Eight communities — Springfield, West Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, Easthampton, Northampton, South Hadley, Amherst — as

well as the University of Massachusetts Amherst, host Valley Bike Share.

▪   Fellows: The Town’s Fellows from the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute concluded their work and made a presentation to key Town staff.

▪  Dashboard: The Sustainability Director and Director of Civic Engagement and

Innovation met with KLA Associates to discuss development of a Community Dashboard that will prominently feature sustainability and climate change related initiatives.  This project is being funded with ARPA Funds.

o Housing:

▪  132 Northampton Road: Valley CDC held a ribbon cutting for the East Gables development on Friday, September 22nd and the building is really beautiful! This was a great joint effort by the non-profit developer, Valley CDC, State funding agencies, and the Town for its funds, permitting, and political leadership by the Town Council.

▪   Ball Lane: Valley Community Development is making progress in its efforts to build an affordable homeownership development which will create an estimated 30 homes on an 8.33-acre property in North Amherst. The development will be duplex condominiums clustered around shared open spaces, and shared parking arrangements will minimize vehicular traffic and emphasize pedestrian connections.

▪   East Street/Belchertown Road: The Town is working with the chosen developer, Wayfinders, on a land development agreement. The work on the development is moving forward nicely. With the due diligence work and designs well underway, we anticipate submitting the Project Eligibility Letter application to DHCD this spring to move the 40B process forward. Other work being done includes site design, wetlands flagging, and analysis of culverts.

▪   VFW: The site assessment and survey work is complete. Before demolition of the existing building can commence, the Town will need to assess the building for hazardous materials. The Town has been in discussions with various State

agencies about this project.

•   Public Works

o Road Paving:

▪  The Town awarded a bid of $2.75 million for paving the following roads. We

anticipate the winning contractor will pave the roads by the end of June, 2024. We are hopeful some of the roads will be paved this Fall, but it is all weather- dependent.

•   Bellview Circle – Rolling Ridge Road to end

•   Cottage Street – Chestnut Street to Morrow Lane

•   Edgehill Place – Logtown Road to End

•   Farmington Road– Applewood Lane to Pondview Drive

•   Heatherstone Road – Pelham Road to Aubinwood Road

•   Market Hill Road – Flat Hills Road to Shutesbury Townline

•   North Hadley Road – Lincoln Avene to Sunset Avenue

•   North Pleasant Street – McClellan Street to Triangle Street

•   Oak Knoll Street– Heatherstone Road to End

•   Old Farm Road – Pinegrove to Crossbrook Avenue

•   Salem Street – Main Street to end

•   Stony Hill Road –(eyebrow) 83 Stony Hill Road to End

•   Thistle Lane – Stony Hill Road to End

•   Woodside Avenue – Northampton Road (Route 9) to Hitchcock Road

o Solid Waste Hauler Request for Information: DPW issued a Request for Information from waste hauling companies to gather information about the market for solid waste services. The Town received three responses from companies that provided information. Town staff are now reviewing the information that was submitted. This information will be shared with the Town Council’s TSO Committee as it continues to develop the roadmap for reviewing solid waste hauling services in the Town.

o Leaf Collection: Here is the Town of Amherst’s Leaf Collection Schedule – Fall 2023

▪   Curbside pick-up of bagged leaves, using the Town-approved, 30-gallon paper biodegradable bag, will begin Monday, October 30, 2023.  There is no curbside collection of loose leaves.  Loose leaves maybe brought to the Transfer Station if you have a current sticker.  If you do not have a sticker, you may purchase one for $125 (residential sticker), $140 (contractor/business sticker) on-line or at the Transfer Station, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday 8:00AM – 2:00PM they accept cash or check.

▪   Place bagged leaves at the curb by 7:00AM. on the day your area is scheduled for pickup. Leaf bags will no longer be sold at the DPW or Transfer Station.  Bags are available from many retailers, and prices may vary – please check that bags are biodegradable.

▪   The DPW will pick up bagged leaves only and will follow routes designated by areas of town.

•   Monday, October 30, 2023: :   East & West Amherst.   The WEST area of Town includes: Amity Street, Lincoln Ave. and all streets in between the boundary of Massachusetts Ave and Northampton Rd. (Allen, Beston, Blue Hills Rd., Cosby, Cowls Lane, Dana Pl., Dana St., Elm, Fearing, Gaylord, Hallock, Kendrick, McClellan, McClure, Nutting Ave, Paige, Phillips, North & South Prospect, Sunset.)  The EAST area of Town includes:

Amherst Woods and Echo Hill Developments and Belchertown Rd. east of Gatehouse Rd, Cortland Dr., Old Belchertown Rd., Old Farms Rd., Harkness Rd. (west side from Stony Hill to Route 9), Heatherstone, Iduna Lane, and Logtown Rd.

•   Tuesday, October 31, 2023: South Amherst.   All streets proceeding from Northampton Rd. (south), Bay Rd, Belchertown Rd. (west of Gatehouse Rd.), Carriage Rd., Columbia Dr., East Hadley Rd., Farmington Rd., Glendale Rd., Hulst Rd., Longmeadow Dr., Middle St., Mill Lane, Mount Holyoke Dr., Orchard Dr., Pelham Rd. (to Town Line), Pomeroy Lane, Pondview Dr., Potwine Lane, Shays St., South Pleasant St., Stanley St., Station Rd. (west of Iduna Lane), West Street to Bay Rd., West Bay Rd., and West Pomeroy Lane.

•   Wednesday, November 1, 2023: North Amherst.   All streets proceeding from North Pleasant Street (north of the UMass Campus), East Pleasant St.

(north of Strong St.), Berkshire Terrace, Blackberry Lane, Bridge St., Cherry Lane, Cowls Rd., East Leverett Rd., Fairfield St., Flat Hills Rd., Grantwood Dr., Harlow Dr., Henry St., Hitching Post, Leverett Rd., Market Hill Rd., Meadow St., Montague Rd., North East St. (north from Strong

St.), Pine St., Pulpit Hill Rd., Rolling Ridge, Sand Hill Rd., Sheerman

Lane, State St., Sunderland Rd., Shutesbury Rd., and Van Meter.

•   Thursday, November 2, 2023: Central Amherst.   All streets within the boundaries and including Strong St., No. Pleasant, College St., and North

East St. (from Main to Strong), Arbor Way, Butterfield Terrace, Canton Ave., Chestnut, Churchill, Clifton Ave., College, Cottage, Dickinson, Eames Ave., East St. Common, East Pleasant (from Strong St. to North Pleasant St.), Gray, Grove, Harvard Ave., Hedgerow, High, Hills Rd., Kellogg Ave., Lessey, Main St. (to the bridge at Fort River), Maplewood Cir., Maplewood Dr., Mt. Pleasant, Newell Court, North Whitney, Pleasant Court, Pokeberry Ridge, Red Gate Lane, Salem, Seelye, Shumway, Smith, South Whitney, Spring, Strong, Taylor, Triangle, Tyler Place, Wildwood Lane, and Windridge Terrace.

•   Friday, November 3, 2023: This day is reserved as a make-up day.   If for any reason (such as inclement weather) the DPW trucks are unable to complete the bagged leaves pickup in scheduled areas, trucks will return to the missed area on this day.

•   Weather permitting; the same routes will be used for a second collection during the week of November 27, 2023.  Place leaves, bagged in a 30-

gallon paper biodegradable bag, at the curb by 7:00AM for collection on the following dates:

o Monday, November 27, 2023, in; East & West Amherst

o Tuesday, November 28, 2023, in South Amherst

o Wednesday, November 29, 2023, in North Amherst

o Thursday, November 30, 2023, in Central Amherst

o Friday, December 1, 2023, will be a make-up day.

•   If DPW trucks finish early in one area they will proceed to the next area designated for collection.

o Groff Park: The Splash Pad/Spray Park closed for the 2023 season on October 9th  after a very successful summer season. The playground and playing fields remain open for your use.

o Roads:

▪  Northampton Road: Caracas Construction continues construction. This project is

part of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation roadway reconstruction project that extends between University Drive and South Pleasant Street. The last word we had was that they expected construction to be completed in early November.

▪   College Street: This is an Eversource project to install new conduit to bring more electricity from the College Street substation to the downtown area. The efforts to electrify our buildings, especially the new buildings downtown, has required additional infrastructure to support the demand. This work, also, is expected to be completed by the end of October.

▪  West Street: Taylor Davis is rebuilding a multi-use path on the west side of West

Street from the Pomeroy Village Center and Crocker Farm School. This will continue our development of our safe routes to schools effort.


•   Short-Term Event Uses of Town Commons (Section 1a of the Town Council Policy):

•   Short-Term Parking Requests (Section 2a of the Town Council Policy):

o Pacific Lodge Masons – September 19, 2023 – 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. – 2 spaces at 99 Main


•   Short-Term Public Way Closures (Section 3b of the Town Council Policy):

o Blue Hills Road Block Party – September 30, 2023 – 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Blue Hills Road in its entirety

o Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts Ride to Provide 2023 – October 15, 2023 –

9:00 a.m. – parts of North Pleasant Street, Fearing Street, and Phillips Street

o Lincoln Avenue Halloween – October 31, 2023 – 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Lincoln Avenue between Amity and Fearing Streets

o Western Mass 10 – Hartford Marathon Foundation – November 5, 2023 – 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. – Triangle Street to North Pleasant Street to College Street to College Street to Main Street to Dickinson Street to Norwottuck Rail Trail

o Merry Maple 2023 – December 1, 2023 – 3:00 – 7:00 P.M. –  Spring Street between Boltwood Avenue and South Pleasant Street (including parking lot) in its entirety and assistance with partial road closures for the UMass Marching Band from Haigis Mall to the Spring Street parking lot (North Pleasant Street, East Pleasant Street, South Pleasant Street)

•   Placement of Road and Temporary Signs (Section 3d of the Town Council Policy):

o Installation of Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons (RRFB) at the following locations:

▪  Triangle Street at the intersection of Pray Street and Cottage Street;

▪  Triangle Street at Lessey Street;

▪  Amity Street at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue;

▪  East Pleasant Street at the intersection of Chestnut Street;

▪  East Pleasant Street at the intersection of Pray Street;

o Installation of a Reduced School Speed Limit Ahead for the School Zone on West Street near the Crocker Farm Elementary School.


•   Jones Library:

o Up-to-the-minute updates can be found here:

o The Town will be seeking bids to rent or lease about 29,000 square feet of interior space for temporary use while the Jones Library is under construction. The property must be located within three miles of the existing Jones Library and be handicap accessible. The property must possess restrooms that can accommodate large numbers of visitors and possess ample parking. The space must be flexible and able to be remodeled by the Town, if necessary, at the cost of the Town. The property must be available for move in by January 1, 2024 and remained available to the Town until December 1, 2025.

o The Jones Library will be closed (to the public and staff) on Sunday and Monday, October

15th  and 16th, in order for exploratory demolition to occur (i.e., asbestos abatement).  The

Branches will remain open their usual hours.

o The Town has issued a Request for Proposals for temporary space for library services during the work on the Jones Library.

•   DPW Building/Fire Building:

o The Town appropriated $100,000 to make emergency repairs to the existing DPW building to address some of the numerous issues that plague that structure. The Building Commissioner will examine the building to determine the highest priorities for utilizing these funds to make repairs. We will continue to assess the condition of the structure and the work conditions for the employees.

o Staff continue to explore multiple options for a new site for the DPW.

•   Elementary School Building Committee:

o Schedule:

▪  The Committee approved the submission of Design Development plans to the

Massachusetts School Building Authority at its meeting on October 13th. We anticipate the MSBA to take up to six weeks to review these plans.

▪  The Sustainability Subcommittee will be meeting the week of November 6th.

▪  The Design Subcommittee will be meeting in early December.

▪   The design team is meeting with the Town’s development review team, which includes Inspection Services, Fire, Conservation, Planning, Health, Public Works, etc. in one meeting to map out the permit path.

▪  Design Development plans are scheduled to be submitted to the MSBA in October.

▪   The designers are beginning the review of building designs with Town permitting boards, starting with the Conservation Commission.


•   Pomeroy Village MassWorks Grant: Final touches are being made at the Pomeroy Village Roundabout. The roundabout is operational as the final pieces of the work continue. There will be additional signage and pavement markings happening between October 5th  and 13th. McNulty Construction will be imprinting the thermoplastic faux brick splitter and center islands at the intersection of West St (Rte116) and

Pomeroy Lane.  The work requires partial intersection closures, moving detours, and alternating one way traffic through the roundabout.

•   Town Hall Steps: Repairs to the front steps of the Amherst Town Hall at the Boltwood Avenue side of the building have begun. The project is

expected to last another six weeks The public is advised to use the accessible entrance on the Main St. side of the building during this time. Pedestrian access will remain open across the front of Town Hall, however there may be short durations when it’s blocked for the loading and unloading of materials. The two closest parking spaces and the entire entry area including the bike racks have been blocked during the duration of this project.

•   North Amherst Library: Work is nearing completion. The garage has been removed and final landscape improvements will be made. We are awaiting the final elevator inspection certificate and roof corrections. The project is close to receiving a full certificate of occupancy. The parking lot is now paved. Library materials have been moved back into the Library portion of the building.  We will be scheduling a ribbon cutting ceremony in late October or early November.

•   North Common Restoration/Main Street Parking Lot: Construction has begun on the North Common Renovations. The initial phases will be work on the sewer, water, and drainage infrastructure underground. Boltwood Avenue will be closed between Spring Street and Town Hall for certain periods of time to facilitate construction. Caracas will begin with curb removal and installation of new drain lines on Boltwood Avenue. The road will be closed to through traffic between 7am and 5pm, and re-open on evenings and weekends. Egress from the Town Hall rear parking lot will be accommodated. This work on Boltwood Avenue is expected to last a couple of weeks.

•   Centennial Water Treatment Facility: Construction on the Centennial Water Treatment Facility has begun site preparation and we are completing the financing and construction agreements with the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust which had voted to create a commitment for the Town’s loan. The agreement includes a Project Regulatory Agreement; Financing Agreement; and Loan Closings for the interim loan (0% interest); and permanent loan (1.5%). The Town had to cancel the ground-breaking event due to weather and site conditions.

•   Hickory Ridge Solar: Construction will begin again in late October or early November. Next steps include removing the trees, finishing permitted wetlands crossings, site work, and moving forward with installation of the panels now that a building permit has been issued. We do not have a definitive new schedule for this work. The solar developer spent extensive time this summer working with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program updating project materials and timelines.


➢ November 7th  – Election Day

➢ November 13th  – Town Council Meeting

➢ November 20th  – Town Council Meeting

➢ November 23-24 – Thanksgiving Holiday

➢ December 4th  – Town Council Meeting

➢ December 18th  – Town Council Meeting

➢ December 22nd  – Christmas Eve (half-day holiday observed)

➢ December 25th  – Christmas Day Holiday

➢ January 1st  – New Year’s Day Holiday

➢ January 2nd  – Town Council Swearing-in Ceremony

➢ January 2nd  – Town Council Meeting

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

The Amherst Indy welcomes your comment on this article. Comments must be signed with your real, full name & contact information; and must be factual and civil. See the Indy comment policy for more information.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.