Five days after the pernicious winter storm wreaked havoc, bringing death and despair throughout our entire region, with many in Amherst still without power, and schools closed for yet another day, Halloween "rescheduled", and even Town Meeting precinct meetings cancelled (bringing withdrawal to small town political junkies) Amherst needs to consider the little things that can make life just a little easier for its citizens still trying to cope.
Trees and branches were by far the number one casualty of this catastrophic event. The town has an entire tree division at the DPW and a recycling/transfer center that deals with wood on a daily basis. And of course the town owns many shade trees damaged or destroyed.
But the Powers That Be have decided only town owned deciduous dead wood will be picked up curbside by town crews over the next two weeks warning " Any tree debris placed on the side of the road from private trees will not be collected." Of course folks can lug the remains to the town transfer station and pay $50 ton.
Since the town dropped the ball by not opening a local emergency shelter to provide basic necessities--warmth being #1--something Belchertown did at a daily cost of $7,000 (without charging residents an entry fee), it would be nice to drop the Scrooge demeanor and work with our citizenry to help return life to normal--before the next storm hits.
###########################UPDATE: Now I'm told by a reliable source that the actual price for disposal at our tax subsidized transfer station is $100/ton, but somebody made a boo boo when sending out that email blast and posting to the town website advertising the $50/ton price.
But rather than suck up and abide by what somebody put in writing (you know, like what a private sector business would do) town officials are trying to get a webmaster to change the price to the correct amount and charge that to hard pressed taxpayers.
Maybe we all should converge on the town common with a few loads of debris and a few gallons of gas and have a good old fashioned bonfire!