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New events, street performers part of Business Improvement District plans

The Business Improvement District is launching two initiatives to advance its aim to make downtown Amherst a livelier destination.

The first is a call of ideas for events the BID can co-sponsor.

Executive Director Alex Krogh-Grabbe said the BID has $10,000 available for such partnerships and is anticipating sponsoring one to four events.

Submissions are due March 4. Winners will be announced March 15.

Krogh-Grabbe said the best events for the partnership will appeal to both families and students, he said. Events must have a downtown focus, though not necessarily of the size and scope of the BID’s own event, the block party in September.

The other initiative is the street performer incentive program. Krogh-Grabbe said he is notifying colleges, high schools and performing arts organizations about this opportunity for students and professionals to perform, for two hours at a time, in select locations.

The BID will pay $25 for each performance, on top of what the performer makes from contributions from passersby. The street performer program will run for six months, April through September, with performers given three to four chances to be on the streets.

“This is something to really raise the bar for the basic excitement level for downtown,” Krogh-Grabbe said.

Election deadline

Town Meeting Coordinating Committee is reminding residents that there are less than two weeks left to be on the annual election ballot as a candidate for Town Meeting member. Eight three-year seats are up for election in each of the 10 precincts, as well as a two-year seat in Precinct 6 and one-year seats in Precincts 3 and 5, at the April 9 town elections.

Though 83 positions are available, so far just 37 residents have taken nomination forms from the town clerk. Nomination forms, with just one signature required, must be returned by 5 p.m. Feb. 19.

So far there are no contested elections. Among those running for seats are Akshay Kapoor, the Student Government Association president at the University of Massachusetts, and Bonnie MacCracken, who ran for Hampshire County Register of Deeds last year.

Meetings

Monday: Select Board, 6:30 p.m., Town Room,, Town Hall.

Wednesday: Personnel Board, 9 a.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall; Regional School District Planning Committee, 7 p.m., high school library.

Thursday: Zoning Board of Appeals, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

Police accreditation

Assessors from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission will be at the Amherst police station Feb. 26 through Feb. 28 to determine if the department will maintain its accreditation status.

The department has held the status since 2000 and has been reaccredited three times since, in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

Accreditation includes meeting all 257 mandatory standards and 55 percent of 125 optional standards.

For more information about the process, call Lt. William Menard at 259-3167 or menardw@amherstma.gov.

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