Town of Amherst Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Following the emergency Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday March 16, 2020, the following emergency measures are being taken throughout town in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This information will be updated daily (as needed) so continue to check back here.

PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE NOTICE FOR UPDATES TO ALL TOWN BUSINESS

CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE - Amherst Town Library - The Library Board of Trustees has made the decision to close the library until further notice. It is our duty to do all that we can to prevent the spread of illness in our town. The closing takes effect immediately and will be in place as long as the situation makes the closure necessary.

Even though the building is closed there are still plenty of ways to take advantage of the library’s services.  Please take a look at the options here:  http://www.amherstlibrary.org/UseYourLibrary24-7#overlay-context=

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS

Public safety (Fire, Police, Ambulance) will continue their respective operations with due caution.

Amherst Police Department   603-673-4900

First and foremost, the Amherst Police Department would like the residents of Amherst to know that our Communication Center and full staff of Amherst Police Officers remain vigilant and committed to the welfare and safety of our town in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.  With that goal in mind, the police station lobby remains open 24/7 for emergency, walk-in requests for service.  However, residents are kindly asked to report all non-emergency requests for service or police advice via telephone to our non-emergency line @ 673-4900.  An officer will promptly return your call and handle your complaint remotely whenever possible.  However, if some level of non-emergency police response is necessary, then be assured that an officer will respond in person.  Of course, the 911 system remains fully operational for reporting any emergency situation which requires immediate fire, medical, or police response.  Beginning March 16th, requests for residential burn permits are to be made via telephone as well to the Communications Center @ 673-4900.  No need to come down to the police station in person…just give your information to the dispatcher over the phone, and make sure to call in as usual @ 673-4900 on any day that you plan to burn. 

With uninterrupted police services in mind, the agency also instituted last week several minor, internal procedural changes to help minimize Covid-19 contact and advancement.  Those changes, combined with a few sensible modifications to our lobby access and response practices will help to ensure effective and steady police and emergency services in the weeks ahead.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 673-4900.  Also, if you need to reach any of our agency’s personnel directly via email, the “Department Roster” on the Amherst Police Department’s webpage (found at www.amherstnh.gov) contains email hyperlinks to every employee.  Thank you for your understanding, and please know that we remain committed to providing the highest possible level of service to our community…no matter what the situation.

Amherst Fire Department   603-673-1545

  • Building is closed to the public, fire prevention tours or gatherings outside the building are suspended.
  • Drive up / walk in medical calls will be handled with the ambulance and crew going out of the building to meet them.
  • Some fire service calls may be handled with a phone call prior to going to a residence (faulty smoke or carbon monoxide detectors) where the solution may be handled by the occupant with our guidance.
  • Looking to put on a fourth provider (FF/EMT) in the absence of one of us F/T employees having to deal with child care and the ability to get the second ambulance out after officer hours end for the day. This in particular where the primary ambulance may need to be decontaminated upon returning to the station including the crew. This can take some time to do and I want us to be prepared for that additional emergency call coming in.
  • Burn Permits will either be handled over the phone or through the on line system through the state of which I will be setting up today with the Division of Forest and Lands.

It is of the utmost importance to keep this virus out of the fire station. Inevitably, we are going to come into contact with a patient that has signs of the virus and we must adhere to the guidance from the CDC and our own protocols to keep our employees protected from it

TOWN HALL    603-673-6041

THE TOWN HALL INTERIOR IS NOW LOCKED. 
PLEASE CALL TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, SEE DEPARTMENT EXTENSIONS HERE.
A DROP BOX HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE FRONT ENTRYWAY FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE.

 

Due to the current CoVID-19 situation and to protect all our staff on site, all of our offices are currently limiting direct contact with the public.

Please call ahead to make sure your needs can be served

On March 16, 2020, NH Governor Christopher Sununu issued executive order #2 in response to the COVID-19 crisis, limiting public gatherings: 

https://www.amherstnh.gov/sites/amherstnh/files/news/executive_order_2020-04.pdf

Town Clerk’s Office    603-673-6041, Extension 203, 208

TUESDAY OFFICE HOURS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

A WALK-UP WINDOW HAS BEEN INSTALLED FOR TOWN CLERK BUSINESS.  PLEASE CALL FOR APPOINTMENT, AND TO BE SURE THERE IS SOMEONE AVAILABLE TO MEET YOUR NEEDS.   IF MORE THAN ONE PERSON IS IN LINE, PLEASE KEEP DISTANCE OF AT LEAST 6 FEET BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS.

In an effort to slow down the spread of Corona virus and due to Federal and State emergency declarations, we need to limit the number of people in the Town Hall at the same time.  Therefore, the Town Clerk’s window will only be open for new registrations and transfers by appointment.  Please renew your motor vehicle registrations and dog licenses online or by mail.  You may also call and we can process them over the phone with a credit card.  The Governor has authorized the extension of all temporary plates issued after March 1st  to go through April 30th.  If you need to come in for any reason please call ahead and leave a message if we don’t pick up.  For those needing to come in because you need to pay cash, just let us know ahead of time.  If you stop by there will be a lock box in the lobby where you can deposit your renewal notice for autos and dogs and we will process them promptly.  Please call ahead of time if you need to come in for a notary or a marriage license.  Obviously these must be done in person.    Certified copies of birth, death, and marriages can be requested online,  by mail, or over the phone with a credit card.  If you have any questions, please call our office at 603-673-6041 x 203 or 208 or email us at ndemers@amherstnh.gov or lfucci@amherstnh.gov.

Unless a face-to-face transaction is absolutely necessary, it is strongly requested that residents utilize online services for Town Clerk business: 

Elizabeth Bielecki, Director of Motor Vehicles, has issued the following statement:
 
"As concern for the health and well-being of employees, customers, and communities that we serve grows, I know that many of you are considering closing your offices to outside traffic.
 
We are encouraging DMV customers to take advantage of online services and are directing them to your municipal websites for online service options you may offer.
 
Some towns are focusing on renewals by mail or have provided drop off options."
 
For new transactions, the Governor has authorized us to extend all temporary plates issued after 3/1 until April 30, 2020.
 

We want to thank you for your patience during this time and are available to answer any questions.

Office of Community Development   603-673-6041, Extension 206, 204, 214, 215 

The Office of Community Development is open for appointments only. Again it is strongly requested that unless face-to-face transactions are absolutely necessary, anyone needing service from the Planning and Zoning Department, the Division of Building and Code Enforcement or any other committees served by the department, utilize the online services:

Be advised that a Temporary Field Inspection Policy is currently in place for all building inspections:
  • All building inspections must be scheduled directly with the Inspector by calling 603-673-6041 x 214
  • All Unoccupied and exterior building inspections will continue as usual, providing proper precautions - social distancing is observed.
  • Any Occupied building inspections will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine viability and necessity, in order to protect the public and municipal staff.
  • A minimum of a 48-hour request is required to schedule inspections.

Assessing & Tax Collector’s Office

The Assessing & The Tax Collector's office is  open for business by appointment only, however, again, it is strongly recommended that unless it is necessary for face-to-face transactions, please call the office for information at 603-673-6041, extensions 202, 201 respectively.  

*ASSESSING FORMS (Credits, Exemptions, Abatement Applications & Forms) can be accessed - https://www.amherstnh.gov/assessing/pages/credits-exemptions-abatement-applications-forms

*TAX PAYMENTS are accepted online and can be made - https://www.eb2gov.com/EB2Gov.dll/TownLaunch?towncode=2602

TOWN OF AMHERST ADMINISTRATION OFFICE, by appointment only.  Housed on the second floor of the town hall, this includes, the Town Administrator, Dr. Dean Shankle, the Finance Department and the Executive Assistant.  Please avoid visiting these offices, if possible, and call for business – 603-673-6041:

  • Town Administrator, Dr. Shankle  extension 209
  • Executive Assistant, Mary Guild  extension 210 
  • Finance Director, Cheryl Eastman  extension 213
  • Finance Office Assistant, Pat Walz  extension 212.

Recreation Department  - Calling the Recreation office for business is the preferred communication method at this time.  Phone Number: 673-6248

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, 03.31.2020, ALL PLAYGROUNDS IN AMHERST WILL BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.  THIS INCLUDES BIRCH PARK DISC GOLF COURSE.

All recreation programs are canceled or postponed until at least April 3rd 

For any classes that have already started, we will be offering a prorated refund or account credit for that program.  

Some exercise classes are being run electronically by the instructor.  Participants will be receiving communication from the program instructor in the coming days.   

Any program with a start date of after April 3rd is still on as scheduled, this date is subject to change. 

If Amherst Schools are closed, ALL indoor recreational facilities will be closed as well. 

We encourage everyone to utilize our outdoor parks, town hiking trails and sports facilities.

  •     -Please follow social distancing guidelines.
  •     -Please note these areas are not cleaned or sterilized and you are using them                                      at your own risk. 

The Amherst Recreation Department will be posting a weekly newsletter of activates for all ages and families to do within the suggested CDC guidelines.  The ARD will also be posting daily exercise offerings, scavenger hunts and other fun videos to get us all through these times. 

Recreation Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am – 4pm
Phone Number: 673-6248

AMHERST TRANSFER STATION - Recycling is suspended at the Transfer Station until the Covid-19 social distancing restrictions are lifted.

Transfer Station Notice 3/27/2020 2pm

To support social distancing at the transfer station, DPW has marked out 4 dedicated parking spots for the trash compactors. They are designated with barricades/cones/barrels and we have divided the trash bins into a left and right side. There are two parking spots per side.

Except for: Recycling, Still Good Shed and Book Swap the remainder of the transfer station functions remain in operation.

If things change, we will continue to provide updates via this Facebook page and the DPW and Transfer Station webpages.

At this time we will continue with our 'pay as you throw' items: Tires, Electronics, Propane Tanks, Freon Appliances and Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris.

At this time we will continue accepting brush and leaves and used oil. Please be mindful of your distancing.

At an emergency meeting of the Souhegan Regional Landfill District (SRLD) meeting last night, the board discussed Covid-19 and exposures for our residents and staff. A measure that will reduce resident/resident and resident/staff closeness is to suspend recycling. The board unanimously passed a motion supporting this action, with implementation up to each of the 4 towns - Amherst, Brookline, Hollis and Mont Vernon.

At the Amherst BOS emergency Covid-19 meeting held this past Monday, incrementally increasing Covid-19 measures for the transfer station were discussed and unanimously supported by the BOS.

DPW plans to lift this suspension as soon as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

DPW recognizes that each household has unique circumstances and that some recycling material cannot be kept for sanitary decay or storage space reasons; however if your household is desires and is able to safely store some of these materials, feel free to do so for future recycling.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

All meetings for the month of March are cancelled except the Board of Selectmen meetings.

The  BOS meeting scheduled for 3.30.2020 will take place. 
It is an electronic meeting (ZOOM). 
PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS LINK IN YOUR BROWSER:
https://zoom.us/j/810307283 TO ATTEND OR CLICK ON THE LINK.
Or Call: 1 646 558 8656 Webinar ID: 810 307 283

 

PLEASE STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY!