The town of Amherst is having the blue water tower, that has become something of a landmark to daily commuters passing through the NYS Thruway and Youngmann Highway (I-290) interchange, repainted this summer. They also have plans to repaint the Amherst, NY that appears on the top of the tower as well as erect 4 green cedar ‘welcome signs’ at strategic locations throughout the town. Costs for the upcoming project are said to be $1.8 million to paint the tower, $10,000 to paint ‘Amherst, NY’, and another $7,800 to install the welcome signs. That’s a lot of dough for paint and wood!
As expected it has generated a lot of opinions from town officials as well as the public at large. The green cedar signs will feature the town seal with the inscription: Welcome to Amherst/ “the safest town in America”/ established 1818. Some feel it to be a huge waste of money. The safest town in America statistic is debatable depending on what data you are using and when it was taken. If you were a victim of crime in Amherst I’m sure you don’t care what a sign says! Even the City of Buffalo has a sign posted on the shoulder of the westbound NYS Thruway proclaiming it “an All-America City.” That was 10 years ago! The sign isn’t even in Buffalo! And by the way, shouldn’t it read “All-American?”
Whether these signs are accurate or not is of no importance to Supervisor Barry Weinstein. “Part of the sign’s design is to create an image.” Said Highway Superintendent Robert Anderson, “we’re a Class A town and I think we should be telling people you are now entering the Town of Amherst.” Weinstein thinks the signs will be “nice touch. I think image is important. We want to keep our home values up. We want to keep people coming to Amherst.” New signs are going to accomplish all that? Unbelievable! Never again will anyone get Amherst confused with Angola!
You know some towns are missing the boat when it comes to their image. They just need to upgrade their signs on the roadside. For example how am I to know how safe it is in this town? Look at this town’s sign. Nothing. Are they keeping their home values up? Is it a Class A type of town? I need that information?
While the $7,800 expense for new welcome signs met with unanimous approval from the town board, the $10,000 cost to repaint ‘Amherst, NY’ on the blue water tower was a harder sell. Not all agreed the cost was worth it. But while the board finally did approve the cost to keep the town’s name on the water tower, Supervisor Weinstein remains steadfastly opposed to it. His reason was interesting. “It’s an ugly water tower to begin with…. it doesn’t create any imagery. It doesn’t add to the aesthetics of the town.” What? It’s a water tower for cryin out loud!! You mean you’ve seen attractive ones that add imagery.
He also thinks it is “a stupid idea” because most people associate the tower with traffic jams and the fact that the name faces the wrong way. Drivers see the name as they are leaving town not entering it. Oh what is poor Barry to do? It’s not easy being a town supervisor.
Oh if only the water tower were more iconic looking, like say the Eiffel Tower! Then the town wouldn’t need signs with ‘less than accurate’ information, they could paint the name facing the right direction, and eliminate all the traffic jams.
only in Buffalo….