1. Meeting of Gateways Beautification CommitteeWednesday, April 5, 2011Northampton Fire Station Conference RoomAttendees: Arthur Apostolou, Smith Vocational School Superintendent Alice Badecker, Leeds Civic Association Gerald Budgar, Ward 3 Association Deb Jacobs, Leeds Civic Association John Kelly, Agricultural Coordinator, Smith Vocational School Alison Kriviskey, Ward 4 AssociationThis project to hopefully improve and enhance the gateway entrances to Northampton is a joint effortsponsored by the city’s ward and neighborhood-based organizations.After introductions and a brief history of the project, attendees made a tentative list of the gatewaysthat we feel should be included in this project. They include: -The area off Route 91 near the Hilton/Clarion on Route 5 -Route 9 coming into Northampton from Haydenville -Route 5 coming into Northampton from Hatfield -Route 10 coming into Northampton from Easthampton -Route 66 coming into Northampton from Westhampton -Route 9 coming into Northampton from Hadley over the Coolidge Bridge -The Bike Path coming into Northampton from Hadley -The Bike Path coming into Northampton from EasthamptonThis list may be expanded after further study. Attendees thought it was important to includewelcoming displays on the bike paths to show Northampton’s commitment to bicycling.We decided our next task would be a site inspection of these areas. Smith Vocational High Schoolwill supply a 14-passenger bus and we will meet at the school on Saturday, April 30 at 1 p.m. for thetour. At each site, we’ll look for land that would be appropriate for a welcoming display, determinewhere public land is, check out topography, and the like. Members will take photos of the sites withtheir cellphones. We hope more people will join us for this tour. In thinking about whether we shouldpropose a single design for each site or build in flexibility, several members said individual sites willdictate what can be done at that location. We felt a sign should be part of each display, and Deb willget the city’s sign regulations so we know what’s possible at these locations. Alison will contactJames at the Planning Department to get maps so we know more about each of the areas proposed forgateway signs and plantings.Among issues to be determine is what the overall “look” or “brand” we wish to communicate shouldbe, and a public design contest was suggested as one way to obtain suggestions from the community.We will decide this question later. We do want to make certain our designs are sustainable and havelow-impact materials and plants. The issue of maintenance of the displays is also crucial.We elected Jerry Budgar and Alison Kriviskey to co-chair the committee, and our next meeting will beheld on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. at the Fire Station to review and further discuss the site visits.
2. The committee was also informed that several groups in the community are interested in supportingthis project and want to be contacted about resources or expertise they might contribute. Theseinclude the City of Northampton, the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, and the BusinessImprovement District. Alison suggested we might also consider contacting the city’s service clubs andorganizations for assistance if needed.