Letter: Climate Leaders Object to Jones Expansion Redesign


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The following letter was sent to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) on June 5, 2024. It was not received in time to be included in the packet for their June 6 meeting.

The undersigned Amherst climate leaders and organizers request that the MBLC not extend the grant of funding for the library expansion/renovation project in Amherst, particularly in light of  the planned value engineering of the project to remove sustainability features.

Yesterday, on June 4, the Library Trustees agreed that the following features would be removed from the project budget:

Library project design changes approved by the JLBC on June 4. Source: amherstma.gov

On June 3, six of the 13 Amherst Town Councilors voted to advise the Town Manager to rescind his request of the MBLC to extend the deadline for the Jones Library project and inform the MBLC that Amherst will not be moving forward with the project.

Amherst has a goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025 (from 2017 levels), 50% by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2050. The sustainability of any new building is key in attaining our goals.

Therefore, please reject Amherst’s request to extend MBLC funding.

Thank you very much.

Julian Hynes, on behalf of Amherst Sunrise
Andra Rose, on behalf of Local Energy Advocates of Western MA

The following signatures are made individually, not on behalf of the organizations:
Darcy DuMont, Zero Waste Amherst, Amherst Climate Justice Coalition, Local Energy Advocates
Felicia Mednick, Mothers Out Front, Climate Action Now, Amherst Climate Justice Coalition, Jewish Community of Amherst Green Team
Deb Neubauer, Amherst Climate Justice Coalition
Anne Perkins, Amherst Zero Energy Building Task Force of Mothers Out Front and Climate Action Network
John Root, Zero Waste Amherst
Lydia Vernon-Jones, Climate Action Now, Amherst Climate Justice Coalition
Russ Vernon-Jones, Climate Action Now, A Climate Justice Coalition 

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