Support Articles 24, 25

In the upcoming Amherst town vote on March 13, the Amherst Conservation Commission asks for the support of the town’s residents by voting yes on Warrant Articles 24 and 25.

Article 24 will provide the full revenue from the Land Use Change Tax to the ACC in years to come. The LUCT is paid by developers when open space (e.g. forests, grasslands and farmlands) is converted to residential and commercial properties. Currently, only 50 percent of the LUCT goes to the ACC, where it enters a Conservation Fund that is used to acquire properties and conservation easements. Providing 100 percent of the revenue will allow the ACC to respond to the increasing property costs over time.

Citizens are familiar with many of the ACC’s properties, such as Joe English Reservation, Pond Parish, Grater Woods, Betty Arnold and Haseltine Forests and the sledding hill on the Bragdon Farm property. LUCT funding allows us to continue to manage these properties and to expand our portfolio for the benefit of nature and our residents.

Article 25 will provide the ACC with a portion of the LUCT funding from the previous fiscal year (2016-17) that already has been collected, in the amount of $43,500. ACC will use this for three projects that will improve the conservation and outdoor recreation potential of town land.

• Improve Recreation Trails – ACC will provide funds to the Amherst Recreation Department to help in the first phase of improving bicycle/pedestrian pathways that connect public recreation spaces.

• Update Amherst’s Forest Management Plan – Funds will be expended to thoroughly update the town’s management plan.

• Manage Invasive Species in Amherst’s Open Spaces – ACC will allocate funds to control invasive plants at the Great Meadow and Bragdon properties, as well as throughout the town in coming years.

Approving these warrant articles will add no additional tax burden to the public, but will provide support to the conservation of open space and outdoor recreation in our town.

Please support the Amherst Conservation Commission by voting YES on warrant articles 24 and 25.