Town Manager Report for June 3, 2024


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 16 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 on the town’s website here: Town Manager Reports


  • Cuppa Joe with Paul: New Director of Community Responders Camille Theriaque joined me at the last Cuppa Joe on May 10th. The next coffee is scheduled for June 10th – special guest to be announced. The “Cuppa’ Joe with Paul” coffees are a monthly event. Each time, Paul is joined by a different Town department head or official. Residents and others are welcome to share their concerns, offer suggestions, or just get to know each other. 
  • North Amherst Library: On May 2nd the Town cut the ribbon on the 
  • Road. The work was made possible by a very generous gift from North Amherst resident Hilda Greenbaum. The addition added 1,200 square feet of space plus rest rooms and a chairlift connecting the original 1,080 square foot building and the new building. The community room accommodates up to 45 
  • Another donation provided chairs for the community room. 
  • Ride the PVTA for Free: The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) is celebrating its Golden Anniversary of providing public transportation services for 50 years. PVTA was created in 1974 to provide oversight and coordination of public transportation within the Pioneer Valley region. To commemorate this milestone, from June 1, 2024, through August 31, 2024, no fares or passes will be needed for PVTA bus and paratransit services. The PVTA is extremely appreciative of the funds appropriated by the Massachusetts Legislature for the Try-Transit Program for FY24. 
  • Massachusetts Municipal Association: I attended the May 14th Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) monthly meeting in Westborough. This was followed by the Local Government Advisory Committee meeting with the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Administration and Finance. • Committee Appointments: We are in the appointment/reappointment process for Town committees and boards. I will be submitting reappointments in the coming days. The Town has over 30 boards and committees that support and advise the work of Town government and each has multiple residents who are members. Terms of service are typically three years; some may be short. Members typically serve for two terms. Members with terms expiring who have served one term may be seeking reappointment. More information here: 


Administration and Finance 

  • Finance: Bond Rating: The Town was successful in securing a renewal of its “AA+/Stable” bond rating from S&P Global Rating Services. Town staff met with the rating agencies in May. The Town was able to maintain this high bond rating due to strong finance staff and long-standing adherence to solid financial management principles. I congratulate our Finance staff and pay tribute to those who have held these positions before us for establishing such strong protocols. ▪ In their evaluation, the analysts stated: “The rating reflects the town’s strong financial profile, buttressed by consistently positive operations leading to the town maintaining reserves above 25% of general fund expenditures over the past three fiscal years. Rating stability is bolstered by well-entrenched financial management policies and practices that drive budgetary decision making.” 
  • “Amherst has a large student population, accounting for about 50% of the total town’s population. In addition, approximately 30% of the town’s total valuation is exempt from taxation, per the state’s Department of Revenue. Consequently, the town’s underlying wealth and income metrics significantly lag similarly rated peers nationally and most rated governments within the state. However, we believe the presence of the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Amherst College, and Hampshire College, collectively part of the “Knowledge Corridor,” provide a stabilizing presence, do not reflect the true economic vitality of the town, and support the current rating level. Although the town has a number of new money issuances planned for various capital projects, we do not think these issuances will materially alter our view of Amherst’s debt and liability profile. As a result, we do not expect to change the rating within the two-year outlook time frame.” 
  • “The long-term rating further reflects our view of Amherst’s: Stable residential taxing base with universities providing a local stabilizing institutional influence, access to the broad and diverse Springfield metropolitan statistical area (MSA); 
  • Seasoned management team, with well-embedded financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology; 
  • Consistent operating surpluses and a stable revenue base of which the main source is property taxes, which account for 67% of annual revenues and Available fund balance in fiscal 2023 of 26% of operating expenditures; 
  • Low debt burden, with manageable fixed costs and additional new money issuances planned in the next couple of fiscal years; and 
  • Large pension and other postemployment benefit (OPEB) obligation, but manageable annual retirement costs.” 
  • “The stable outlook reflects our view that the town will make the necessary budgetary adjustment and maintain its strong financial position throughout the two-year outlook horizon. It also reflects a strong and stable economic base and manageable debt and retirement costs.” 
  • “Since our last review, the town’s policies and procedures remain robust in nature. Amherst is thorough in its budget preparation and forecasting processes, and conservative in nature, with assumptions borne out by variance analyses. Along with the budget, management creates a five-year capital improvement plan that identifies funding sources and is linked to the town’s multiyear forecast. Amherst’s debt management policies limit the general fund debt service to 10% of general fund revenues and establish minimum debt amortization targets. State statutes guide the town’s investment policy, and Amherst’s reserve and liquidity policies call for the undesignated-unreserved fund balance and stabilization fund to be maintained at 5%-15% of general fund revenues. Surpluses in excess of 15% of revenues will be allotted to the town’s capital reserve stabilization fund. We consider the institutional framework score for Massachusetts towns strong.” 
  • Budget: Town staff have finalized the budget which is being reviewed by the Town Council for its review. All budget information may be found here: FY25 Budget ▪ Capital: The public forum on the Capital Improvement Program will be held on June 3rd. 
  • ▪ Regional School District: The Town’s guidelines for budget development were to create a budget that included a 4% increase. The Regional School Committee submitted a budget that included a 6% increase. Staff have reviewed options to meet this need utilizing one-time funds from ARPA. This proposal will be discussed with the Finance Committee. 
  • Searches: ▪ Finance Director: The TSO Committee has reviewed the appointment of the new Finance Director. The appointment memorandum is in the Town Council’s packet for action on June 3rd. If approved, the Finance Director will start on July 1st. 
  • ▪ Communications Manager: I have appointed a new Communications Manager. She will begin her duties on June 17th. 
  • Human Resources: 
  • ▪ Clerk of the Council: The Clerk of the Council will be taking on additional responsibilities that include Strategic Planning and Legislative Affairs Management while continuing to serve as Clerk of the Council. Her expanded role will focus on aligning the Town’s strategic objectives with the Town Council’s legislative priorities and will work to develop and implement strategies that address both current and future needs for the Town. 

    ▪ Farewell: We will be celebrating Fire Chief Tim Nelson’s public safety career on Friday, June 21st. From 4:00pm to 6:00pm, municipal officials, elected officials, and community members are invited to the Courtyard Marriott for a speaker’s program and light refreshments. This will be followed by an informal gathering toast/roast at The Amherst Public House, 40 University Drive. Please RSVP on the Town’s website. 

    Town Clerk: 
  • Scholarship: Assistant Town Clerk Amber Martin will be attending the 
  • New England Municipal Clerks Institute and Academy in July on a full scholarship! She is receiving support from the New England Association of City and Town Clerks and the Massachusetts Association of Town Clerks. Congratulations, Amber, on seeking out these funding opportunities and for further developing your skills and credentials. 
  • Election: There are two major elections this fall: The State Primary on September 3rd and the General Election on November 5th. Key dates for the Primary can be found here: Here are some key dates for the Primary: ▪ August 24th: Last day to register to vote. 
  • ▪ August 24th – August 30th: Early voting. 
  • ▪ August 29th: Last day to request a mail-in ballot. 
  • ▪ August 30th: Last day to apply for an in person absentee ballot. 
  • ▪ September 3rd at 8:00 p.m.: Deadline for ballots to be received in the Town Clerk’s office. 
  • ▪ September 3rd from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.: In person voting at voting locations. 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Department: Pride: On June 13th, the Town will celebrate Pride month with a very special event commemorating the legalization of marriage for all. ▪ At 3:00 p.m. the Town Council will read its the Proclamation for Pride Month followed by a flag raising ceremony at Town Hall. 
  • ▪ Then, a brief walk to Amherst College’s Alumni House for 
  • ▪ A very special event featuring remarks By Justice Roderick Ireland followed by the panel 
  • discussion. The moderator is Josh Benson, a CRESS Responder. The panelists are former Town Select Board Member Connie Kruger, Marguerite Sheehan, and current Town Councilor Pat De Angelis. 
  • ▪ The program will be followed by a reception in Alumni House.
    • ▪ Following the Goodridge Decision, marriage licenses for same sex couples became available on May 17, 2004. The law requires a three-day waiting period meaning May 20, 2004, was the first day a couple could marry. In Amherst 21 same sex marriage intentions were filed on the 17th. Twelve marriages were recorded in May. They were: Debra Jacobson and Margaret Mastrangelo, May 20, 2004 
    • Bobbi Hopkins and Carolyn McGill, May 20, 2004 
    • Marsha Bazley and Linda Blatt, May 21, 2004 
    • Marguerite Sheehan and Dorothy Merriam, May 21, 2004 
    • Amy Brodigan and Elizabeth Welsh, May 23, 2004 
    • Jennifer Gwozdzik and Maria Racca, May 23, 2004 
    • Judith Whitcomb and Cheryl Sponburgh, May 23, 2004 
  • Florence Stern and Nancy deProsse, May 23, 2004 
  • Carol Betsch and Robin Karson, May 24, 2004 
  • Mary McCarthy and Anne Dolen, May 24, 2004 
  • Felicia Mednick and Felice Yeskel, May 26, 2004 
  • Elisabeth O’Brian Selkirk and Angelika Kratzer, May 28, 2004 
  • AAPI Celebration: The DEI Department produced a successful Asian American Pacific Islander celebration on the Town Common on May 19th. Coinciding with this event is a remarkable exhibit at the Amherst Historical Society documenting the rich, recent history of the Cambodian community in Amherst and the 
  • Seiha Krouch is paraeducator for the Amherst School system grew up in Amherst and has been an influential voice for the Cambodian community. Mr. Krouch also developed the Morning Movement program in the Schools which has involved and empowered dozens of Amherst youth through early morning exercise and mentoring in conjunction with the Parent Center in the School Department and the Recreation, CRESS, Police, and DEI Departments. 
  • Events: The Department of Equity and Inclusion and Human Rights Commission have a number of events coming up including. We hope that you can join us for a full day of activities and fun on June 9th at the Mill River Recreational Area. ▪ Basketball Tournament: The Human Rights Commission in collaboration with Citizens for Race Amity Now and the Mill River Basketball Tournament Committee invite you to the 3rd Annual Mill River Basketball Tournament on Sunday, June 9th at the Mill River Recreation Area 
  • ▪ Youth Hero Awards and Race Amity Day: The annual Youth Hero Awards and Race Amity Day Celebration will also happen on June 9th. This event is sponsored by the Town of Amherst, Citizens for Race Amity Now!, The Human Rights 
  • Commission, Mill River Basketball Tournament Committee, Amherst Ba’hai Community, The Jewish Community of Amherst, Amherst League of Women Voters, Interfaith Opportunities Network and The Julius Ford/Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community. 
  • ▪ Pride: A special Pride Month event with Justice Roderick Ireland 
  • will be held on June 13th. Justice Ireland, was a member of the Supreme Judicial Court’s four-justice majority in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. The 2003 case established Massachusetts as the first state in the country to legalize 
  • same-sex marriage and set in motion a domino-effect of other states that passed similar laws in the years that followed. 
  • ▪ Juneteenth: A large number of events are planned to celebrate Juneteenth. Many events will take place on Saturday, June 15th starting with events organized by Ancestral Bridges beginning at 11:00 a.m. Town events will complement the other activities with a celebration on the Town Common from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. 
  • ▪ Becoming Beloved
    • Community: The DEI Department continues to host events, most recently, “Microaggressions: What are they and how do you respond” on April 4th. 
  • Future “Becoming a Beloved Community” events: 07/25/2024 | Allyship 
  • 09/26/2024 | America’s Racial History 
  • 11/21/2024 | Navigating Differences 
  • ▪ Reparations: The legal opinion from the Town Attorney on funding sources for Reparations has been shared with the Town Council and will be discussed in an upcoming GOL Committee meeting. 
  • ▪ Resident Oversight Board: After the first Request for Proposals failed to produce a vendor who could complete the work within the Town’s allotted budget, a second RFP was issued for a consultant to assist the Town in the creation, establishment, and implementation of a Civilian Law Enforcement Oversight Board. Bids were opened and have been reviewed. We are in discussion with one of the vendors to clarify aspects of the proposal. I anticipate awarding the bid for the next phase in the coming weeks. 
  • ▪ Police Protocols: Work on police protocols will be a priority for the new Police Chief. I am working with the Chief to establish a timeframe for this work. 
  • ▪ CRESS: The new director has been very active in establishing the Department and moving it forward. 
  • ▪ Youth Empowerment: ARPA funds have been set aside to support this work which will include additional outreach and an assessment of possible sites. 

Public Safety 

  • Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service: The Director and Advisor from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Government Performance Lab (GPL) continue to work with staff including the CRESS staff, director, other department heads, Town Manager, Police Chief and staff, Fire Chief and staff, Interim Leadership Team, and Dispatch leadership. They spent significant time in Dispatch evaluating the progress being made. This team has expansive knowledge of other similar initiatives and bring real insight to our efforts. They identified two main area for the next phase of development: (a) data driven performance management and (b) integrating calls for CRESS into the Dispatch 
  • ensure quality assurance, and standard operating procedures.
    • Police Department: International Town-Gown Association (ITGA): Staff from the Town and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will be presenting to the ITGA at its annual conference in Maryland on “How Public Safety Agencies Can Make a Difference in Town Gown Relations”. Congratulations to Neighborhood Liaison Officer Bill Laramee and Sgt. Jesus Arocho for be asked to present to this group. 
    • Fire Department: Academy: Three new members of the Department began their Academy training in April. 

Community Services 

  • • Veterans: o Memorial Day: ▪ A moving tribute to those who have given their lives in defense of the country was held on May 27th. The threat of inclement weather forced the traditional parade and ceremony to be moved into the Bangs Community Center. The room was packed with those wishing to commemorate the memory. 
  • ▪ The Medal of Liberty was awarded to Marine Corps Private Felix Stephen Stanne who was killed in action in Iwo Jima on March 15, 1945. Private Stanne grew up on the family farm on Triangle Street and was a 1936 graduate of Amherst High School. He was survived by hi mother and nine siblings. His nephew, John Stanne, and many members of his extended family were present to accept the Medal. 
  • ▪ The Amherst Pelham Regional School District Chorale sang two moving pieces. It was so impressive to see such a large contingent from the high school offering their talents. 
  • ▪ The Amherst Police Department and Amherst Fire Department provided a large, distinguished, uniformed presence to commemorate the day. 
  • ▪ Many thanks to the members of the Town Council who were able to be present to read the Town Council’s proclamation. 
  • ▪ And, as always, thanks to Veterans Services Director Steve Connor. 
  • Veterans Community Breakfast for All. Please make an effort to stop by for a cup of coffee. Sponsored by the CRESS Department and organized by its Veterans Outreach Worker Gene Herman. The breakfasts are held on the first and third Fridays of the month from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. in the Bangs Community Center. Veterans, Spouses, Caregivers, Amherst Community Members. (There are 387 veterans living in Town!) 
  • • Senior Services: o Free Food – Volunteers Needed: The Amherst Senior Center needs volunteers to help distribute food. The Senior Center is deepening its commitment to addressing food insecurity by launching a Wednesday Market! Thanks to generous donations of produce, prepared goods, bread, and sweets from Whole Foods Market, they are able to offer this program free of charge to community members. The program will run from 10:30am to 12:00pm every Wednesday in the Bangs Community Center. Amherst Senior Services is seeking volunteers to be a part of this initiative. Volunteers are needed from 9:00am to 12:30pm to help with set up, distribution, and cleanup. Must be able to lift 20lbs. If you would like to help us fill the food gap, please reach out to Julia MacFadzen at to inquire. 
  • Newsletter: The new May-June 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: 
  • Dental Clinic: ▪ The Senior Center is offering a Mobile Dental Clinic to provide access quality dental care at a reasonable price. Regular dental care prevents tooth decay that could lead to more serious illnesses like pneumonia and heart disease. 
  • ▪ Services will be available on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 9:00am to 2:00pm 
  • ▪ Appointments include teeth cleaning, clinical assessment, screenings for oral cancer and blood pressure, referrals if needed, and a free goodie bag! 
  • ▪ Appointments are free for MassHealth recipients and $75 for patients with other insurance. Denture care is $30. Older adults welcome. 
  • ▪ Call the Senior Center at (413) 250-3060 to schedule an appointment. Walk-in services not available. 
  • Opioid Settlement: In 2023, Hampshire County received almost $1 million from the settlement payments of pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors involved in the opioid crisis. While Amherst received upward of $162,000 in fiscal year 2023, the town has yet to spend any of it. No Hampshire County municipality has spent its share of the settlement money yet, many struggling with restrictive financial regulations and opting to first collect residents’ ideas for the funds. The Opioid Settlement Fund survey results are being evaluated. 
  • Fireworks: The Recreation Department are finalizing plans for the annual Independence Day celebration fireworks. The event will be held on July 2nd near McGuirk Stadium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The rain date is July 8th. Many, many thanks to the University for their partnership and support for this highly popular event. 
  • War Memorial Recreation Area: The Town hosted a listening session on May 6th where the current schematic design was presented. 
  • Planning: ▪ Staffing: Jacinta Williams joined the Planning Department on May 6th as a Planner. She has worked at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and the City of Pittsfield as a Planner, along with previous experience in film industry on the west coast. 
  • ▪ Downtown Design Standards: Planning staff are in the process of scheduling stakeholder meetings to provide input to the consultants, Dodson & Flinker, on what people would like to see (or not see) downtown. Stakeholder engagement meetings started earlier in the month. 
  • ▪ Open Space and Recreation Plan: The Planning Department is working on an update of the Open Space and Recreation Plan (mentioned above). Everyone is invited to take a survey, giving us input on what they think about Amherst’s open space and recreation lands. 
  • Sustainability: ▪ Electricity Aggregation: 
  • • Public Health: 
  • Recreation: 

Conservation and Development

  • The State Department of Public Utilities issued an order approving Valley Green Energy’s municipal aggregation plan. DPU directs us to make a few changes to the aggregation plan and opt-out documents and submit them as a compliance filing. 
  • With the approval in place, we can begin the supply procurement and program launch. Procurement will likely happen in the summer, to coincide with the next announcement of the Basic Service price period which will cover August through January. If this schedule is followed, the program will launch in the Fall. 
  • ▪ ValleyBike Share: The regional ValleyBike Share program, through the City of Northampton, as the lead community, announced that it had selected Drop Mobility as the new vendor and will roll out the program by the end of May. 
  • ▪ Dashboard: The Town announced the release of its community dashboard focused on sustainability. The dashboard is a one-stop opportunity to access information on what has been done, what is being done, and what we plan to do in regard to sustainability and climate action. It also features recommendations on what residents can do and how to become involved in addressing climate change. The website is located at: 
  • Housing: ▪ Permanent Shelter: The public stakeholder and feedback session for the initial visioning of the new shelter and housing proposed for the VFW site will be held on June 10th. 
  • The Town has contracted with Narrow Gate Architecture of Boston to perform conceptual design services for the potential shelter services and supportive housing at 457 Main Street. The team at Narrow Gate Architecture has extensive experience with public projects and working with non-profits. They were the designer of the recently completed the Father Bill’s and Mainspring Yawkey Housing Resource Center in Quincy. 
  • For the Town’s project, Narrow Gate Architecture has analyzed our site, developed potential programming and space needs, and created a conceptual site design with 3D renderings. 
  • The Town awarded the bid to demolish the existing building on the site. 
  • ▪ Affordable Housing: 180 Fearing Street: The Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities has approved the Local Action Unit application for three affordable rental units out of 22 total units at 180 Fearing Street. These units will be added to the Town’s State Housing Inventory. 
  • 11 East Pleasant Street: The Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities has approved the Local Action Unit application for 11 affordable rental units out of 90 total units at 11 East Pleasant Street. These units will be added to the Town’s State Housing Inventory. 
  • ▪ Belchertown Road/East Street: Wayfinders has submitted its Project Eligibility Letter for the Comprehensive Permit on Belchertown Road and at the East Street School. There will now be a presentation, discussion, and opportunity to offer comments regarding the Project Eligibility Application submitted to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities for preliminary review of their proposed development including approximately 78 
  • mixed income apartments at 31 South East Street and 70 Belchertown Road. Application documents available by clicking the link below: 
  • ▪ Housing Trust Strategic Planning Effort: A consultant from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership outlined the plan for the Trust in setting goals and strategies for next few years and went over the timeline for that process. One goal is to figure out what the Trust should focus on as a priority. The consultant and Town staff will review former Trust efforts and will share with the Trust as part of the planning process. 
  • ▪ Ball Lane aka Amherst Community Homes: The Comprehensive Permit for the Amherst Community Homes project (Valley CDC) for 30 units of affordable homeowner housing was approved by the ZBA. The written Comprehensive Permit decision was filed with the Town Clerk last week. There is a 20 day appeal period which expired at the end of the day on May 9, 2024. 
  • Sweetser Park Concerts: The Business Improvement District has scheduled concerts at Sweetser Park on June 22nd, July 27th, and August 17th from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. 
  • Economic Development: 

Public Works 

  • Tree City USA: The Arbor Day Foundation has named the Town of Amherst as Tree City USA to honor its commitment to effective urban forest management. Congratulations to Tree Warden Alan Snow and our very active Public Shade Tree Committee!
    • Roadwork: Warner Brothers LLC will begin work on the reconstruction of North Pleasant Street adjacent to Kendrick Park (Between McClellan Street and Triangle Street) on May 28th. Work on Old North Pleasant is expected to last several weeks. Parking will be prohibited during the reconstruction. 
    • Additional crews will be continuing work shimming and adjusting structures in preparation for paving on the following streets throughout the coming weeks: ▪ Thistle Lane – Stony Hill to the end in preparation for reclaiming. 
    • ▪ Oak Knoll Street – Heatherstone Road to the end in preparation for reclaiming. 
    • ▪ Market Hill Road- Flat Hills Road to Shutesbury Townline in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ Stony Hill Road – (eyebrow) 83 Stony Hill Road to end in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ Cottage Street – Chestnut Street to Morrow Lane in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ Woodside Avenue – Northampton Road (Route 9) to Hitchcock Road in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ Edgehill Place – Logtown Road to end in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ Salem Street – Main Street to end in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ Old Farm Road – Stavros to Wildflower in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ Farmington Road– West Pomeroy Lane to 2nd Pondview Drive entrance in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ North Hadley Road – Lincoln Avenue to Sunset Avenue in preparation for an overlay. 
    • ▪ The State is looking to resurface approximately 3.2 miles of Route 116 in Amherst, beginning at the intersection of Route 116 and Route 9 in Hadley, extending to the intersection of Route 116 and Meadow Street. Work includes 
  • milling and resurfacing, rebuilding, and cleaning of drainage structures, upgrades to guardrail and shoulder repairs. 
  • ▪ The State is replacing the sidewalk on Montague Road (Route 63). 


  • Short-Term Event Uses of Town Commons (Section 1a of the Town Council Policy): None
    • Short-Term Parking Requests (Section 2a of the Town Council Policy): Juneteenth Celebration – June 15, 2024 – 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – parking on Boltwood Avenue and two spaces in the Spring Street parking lot 
    • Short-Term Public Way Closures (Section 3b of the Town Council Policy): Western Mass 10 Road Race – November 3, 2024 – 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. – Temporary closings of North Pleasant, South Pleasant, Main, and Dickinson Streets 
    • Placement of Road and Temporary Signs (Section 3d of the Town Council Policy): 


  • Jones Library Renovation and Expansion: The sole bid for the Jones Library was rejected by me because it exceeded the budgeted amount for the project. 
  • Along with the Library Trustees, I submitted a request for an extension of the grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The Board will review this request on June 6th. 
  • Options will be developed through the Building Committee and will be discussed at Monday’s Council meeting. 
  • DPW Building/Fire Building: 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. Facilities staff have examined the building and determined 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. Work on the roof identified last year will be done in the coming months. 
  • Staff continue to explore multiple options for a new site for the DPW. 
  • Elementary School Building Committee: Next Steps: A second bid package for the construction of the building itself will be issued in June. The schedule is to complete the new elementary school building prior to the beginning of the September 2026 school year. The final stage of the project will be the demolition of the existing Fort River Elementary School and final site work which is scheduled to be completed later in 2026. 
  • For more information, visit the School Building Project website here: https://www.amherst-school- 


  • Centennial Water Treatment Facility: For more information, visit the website here: 
  • North Common Restoration/Main Street Parking Lot: Work on the project continues at a rapid pace. The project is projected to be completed by June 30, 2024. 
  • Additional sidewalk work has begun to install a new sidewalk on the east side of the Town Common from Spring Street to College Street and replace the sidewalk on South Pleasant Street. This work is being funded by a grant. 


  • June 17th – Town Council meeting 
  • June 24th – Town Council meeting 
  • July 2nd – Independence Day fireworks (rain date July 8th) 
  • July 4th – Independence Day holiday 
  • July 7th – Town Council meeting 
  • August 5th – Town Council meeting 
  • August 19th – Town Council meeting 
  • September 2nd – Labor Day holiday 
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2 thoughts on “Town Manager Report for June 3, 2024

  1. Quite interested in the statement that only 50% of Amherst’s population are students. My understanding it that it is closer to 70%. With about 14,000 students living on UMass campus and more than 2,000 at Amherst and Hampshire College, is it true that only 4,000 more students live off campus here in Amherst? What is the source of this 50% statement? Does UMass know how many of its students live off-campus in Amherst?

  2. There is a very simple way to access this information. Each year the city clerk is supposed to receive a list of residents from apartment complexes to keep the town census up to date. That list usually includes names and dates of birth…do voter lists. It would seem to be a relatively simple matter to make a public records request for the numbers of persons in various U. S. Census age cohorts in Amherst from which one could get a good plus or minus 5-10% estimate of college-age students. Even better would be to use U. S. Census age cohort data to construct a graph of the last three Census’ (2000, 2010, 2020) age cohort data which would give a clearer picture of how close a 2024 public records request result conforms to, or differs from recent Censuses.

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