Town officials pen letter of support for Amherst Media

  • Amherst Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 10/26/2021 9:15:04 AM

AMHERST — Town officials are advocating for Amherst Media to remain in an Eversource-owned building on College Street until the nonprofit, local public access center can construct its new headquarters.

“On behalf of the 13-member Amherst Town Council, we are requesting that you extend the lease with ACTV (Amherst Community Television) for an extended period of time – at least one year – as the non-profit organization continues its efforts to establish a new headquarters,” reads the letter signed by Town Council President Lynn Griesemer.

The letter is addressed to Joseph R. Nolan, Jr., CEO of Eversource Energy in Boston.

Griesemer goes on to write, “Extension of the lease will make ACTV’s eventual move less disruptive of its service to our community and less costly to this nonprofit organization.”

Amherst Media, which oversees the public access, educational and government television channels for Amherst and broadcasts numerous public meetings and local programs, was issued an eviction notice from its longtime College Street site by Eversource in August 2010. Since then, though, the company has allowed extensions of the lease to accommodate Amherst Media’s eventual move, likely to Main Street lots it purchased several years ago.

In August 2020, the Planning Board gave the go-ahead to Amherst Media for constructing a 1½-story Greek Revival building on Main Street.

The lengthy process of approval for that project commenced with hearings before the Local Historic District Commission and its issuing a certificate of appropriateness. But the project has also faced objections from neighbors about the size of the building and how it will affect the appearance of the historic lawn in front of the Henry Hills House and Amherst Woman’s Club building.

No groundbreaking on the building project has yet taken place.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.
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