An Update from the Ward Three Neighborhood Association

It’s our pleasure to pass along this update from the Ward Three Neighborhood Association. As you can see, major issues are facing our ward. Citizen input is welcome.

Update on Our Activities

From: Jerry Budgar, President

This has been an extremely busy year for your Association, and we’ve
been discussing a wide spectrum of issues that affect Ward 3. These
include the Bridge Street School, homelessness, Sustainability,
traffic calming, a possible Neighborhood Watch, Exit 19 of I-91, and
the Fairgrounds redevelopment proposal, among others. Each monthly
meeting has a full agenda.

Recent Events
We recently sponsored a series of events around the issue of water.
Lisa DePiano worked with the Department of Public Works to set up a
seminar on a variety of water-related topics ranging from capturing
rainwater to flood control. The program was very well received, and
thanks Lisa. Councilor Bob Reckman arranged two terrific tours for
Association members, one of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and
flood control operation on Hockanum Road, and a second of the city’s
new, state-of-the-art, $26 million water treatment plant in
Williamsburg. Both were very educational and helped us better
understand the professionalism of city services.

Upcoming Events
On Saturday, June 13 (rain date Sunday, June 14), the Association
will be sponsoring a Strawberry and Lemonade Social at Historic
Northampton from 2 to 5 p.m. We’re asking everyone to bring your
favorite strawberry dish to share, and lemonade will be provided.
Historic Northampton will provide free admission to its museum and
lead a guided tour of historic Bridge Street Cemetery during the
afternoon. More information will be forthcoming.

Issue-Based Committees
It’s been our goal to increase the number of Ward 3 residents
involved with the Association, and we’ve begun by starting up
committees so members can get involved with issues of concern. Vice
President Jim Nash has done a superb job getting three committees (so
far) up and running, and we hope anyone interested in the following
topics will contact Jim about getting involved. His email address is:

Our first committee is focused on traffic calming issues. Lola Reid
and Lisa DePiano drafted a plan that’s being tested in the Williams
Street/Hawley Street area and, if successful, could be a prototype
for all neighborhoods in our ward. They have surveyed neighbors in
this area and found several interested in working on a traffic
calming plan. We hope one will be implemented soon.

Our second committee, the Sustainability Committee, is charged with
reading the city’s new Sustainability Plan and keeping the board
updated on issues relating to Ward 3. The committee has focused on
the proposal to rezone many neighborhoods throughout the city
(including many in Ward3) For much denser development, and this has
the potential to become a really hot potato. We’re ahead of the
curve on this issue and will make sure Ward 3 residents have ample
notice of any proposed meetings and/or zoning changes. Jim Nash and
Owen Freeman-Daniels have been instrumental in forming the committee
and are looking for more residents to join.

Our third and newest committee is an Exit 19 of I-91 Committee that
will keep our board informed about developments with this project.
The state Highway Department proposed revisions to the interchange
about 18 months ago that were very controversial. They were dropped
and now Mass Highway is preparing to redo the entire project from
scratch. Our committee will stay on top of this to help assure that
nothing is done that would be detrimental to nearby neighborhoods of
our ward. Frank Werbinski, Joanne Mackiewicz, Christine Cahillane,
and Jim Nash held their first meeting and are planning others over
the next few months. Here’s another committee looking for new
members, so don’t be bashful about stepping forward if you’re
interested in this project.

No letter to the membership would be complete without a grateful
thank-you to the hard-working board that makes all of this possible.
And we’re all grateful to you, the members, who support us and
encourage us in the work that we do. If you have questions,
comments, or suggestions for or about the Association, please email
them to me at:

Jerry Budgar