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Town Meeting member’s petitions seek to stop two projects



Staff Writer
Saturday, October 08, 2016

AMHERST — Petitions have been filed by a Town Meeting member in an effort to prevent construction of a roundabout at the north end of downtown and the building of a new Department of Public Works headquarters.

Vincent O’Connor of Precinct 1 submitted the petitions to Town Hall that will be advisory articles to be considered by fall Town Meeting, which begins Nov. 14.

The first petition calls for town officials to “cease activities and expenditures designed to replace the East Pleasant Street/Triangle Street intersection with a roundabout,” and also asks that no state grants be sought for this work.

Instead, the petition asks that new traffic lights be installed and phased to reduce congestion by having them move through three cycles: one for northbound and southbound traffic, one for eastbound vehicles and one for westbound vehicles.

The Select Board previously endorsed the roundabout, though the source of funding for the project has not been identified.

The second petition from O’Connor calls for town officials to “cease activities and expenditures directly related to the construction of a new Public Works Department building until such time as the backlog of repairs to the town’s public ways has been significantly reduced and high priority sidewalk repairs and extensions have been accomplished.”

O’Connor estimates the town has $17 million in roadwork to catch up on, and that the Joint Capital Planning Committee, which reviews long-term capital expenditures, should prioritize money for that.

The DPW building is one of four building projects the town could pursue in the coming years, which also include a new fire station and expanded and renovated elementary school and Jones Library.

Film screening at cinema

An Amherst Regional High School graduate who directed the independent film “The Dissection of Thanksgiving” will be on hand when it screens at Amherst Cinema at 7 p.m. Monday.

Rafael Monserrate, writer Troy Hall, two producers and an actor will discuss the film with the audience following the special screening.

Set in Buffalo, New York, and starring Kathleen Quinlan and Jay O. Sanders, the movie focuses on the pending divorce of parents announced on the Thanksgiving eve.

Artist talk

An artist known for her mono-type prints will discuss her life and works, and show examples, during a presentation at the Amherst Woman’s Club Monday.

Amanda Barrow will speak at the 35 Triangle St. site beginning at 1:30 p.m. The event is free and refreshments will be served. For more information, call 549-6865.

Absentee ballots

Absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 presidential election are available at the town clerk’s office at Town Hall.

Applications must be made in person at the office, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Thursdays, when the office opens at noon.

Meetings

THURSDAY: Board of Assessors, 11 a.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall; Select Board and School Committee joint meeting, 5 p.m., and Four Boards Meeting, 7 p.m., both at Town Room, Town Hall.