Preview: Town Meeting November 9th

Representatives from across Amherst will vote for or against a number of articles on updating and expanding town infrastructure and services. Included in these articles are proposals to create a committee that will explore the possibilities of regionalizing Amherst’s school districts, on affordable housing, the purchase of land to protect Amherst’s watershed, expanding Amherst’s sewers, bridge repair, and the recreation of a committee on homelessness.

Larry Orloff, a town representative of Precinct 3, says that he believes that most of the articles that will be considered tonight will be “more or less routine”. One article that he believed might stir controversy is Article 11, which proposes an extension of sewer lines.

Mr. Orloff said he was “interested in finding out whether this appropriation is truly necessary” and if the cost will be fairly shared between the homeowners who will benefit from the new sewer line, and those who are using existing sewers.

Aaron Hayden, the town Clerk on the Amherst Select Board, explained a number of the articles, saying that he did not expect too much controversy. On Article 11, he explained that the expansion of sewers was a public service, though he said there “might be some anti-tax people” that object.

He doubted that the town meeting would get to discuss the reinstatement of the Homelessness Committee, which was dismantled in August. On the issue, he said it was important to consider “what the town can actually accomplish.”

“Amherst is not going to completely eliminate homelessness,” he said.

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