Daily News

IT Bond Bill Includes $300,000 for Town of Amherst

BOSTON — State Rep. Mindy Domb announced designated funding in the amount of $300,000 for the town of Amherst for information-technology (IT) upgrades in the recently passed IT bond bill. Domb joined her colleagues in the state Legislature to pass the legislation, which authorizes up to $1.7 billion in spending for the improvement of IT equipment and related projects in Massachusetts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the importance of digital equity and the need to ensure a strong information-technology infrastructure that is available to all. I am proud to have played a role in making sure the 3rd Hampshire gets our fair share of state resources,” Domb said. “This funding will assist the town of Amherst to undertake projects in the coming years as varied as providing free wi-fi internet access in downtown Amherst for the benefit of people who need it, including people who are experiencing homelessness, visitors, and small businesses; connecting underserved residents to wi-fi internet access by expanding wi-fi internet access to key municipal parking lots near town and school buildings; purchasing IT equipment for disaster preparation and contingency preparedness; delivering information-technology technical assistance to the Amherst Senior Center and its participants and acquiring necessary IT equipment for their benefit; and expanding remote-work capabilities and creating efficiencies in town government functions.”

Paul Bockelman, Amherst town manager, added that “the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the town to make significant investments in technology and migrate services to online platforms. It is important that the state recognize the need for further investment, and I thank Rep. Domb for her advocacy to ensure this commitment for the town of Amherst is included in this important bill.”