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Amherst, New York
Location of New York in the United States
|Incorporated||April 10, 1818|
|Named for||Lord Jeffrey Amherst|
|o Type||Town Council|
|o Supervisor||Brian Kulpa (D)|
|o Total||53.58 sq mi (138.78 km2)|
|o Land||53.20 sq mi (137.78 km2)|
|o Water||0.39 sq mi (1.00 km2) 0.73%|
|Elevation||594 ft (181 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||2,364.58/sq mi (912.96/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
14051, 14068, 14221, 14226, 14228
Amherst () is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. Amherst is the most populated town in western New York, and an inner ring suburb of Buffalo. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 122,366. This represents an increase of 5.0% from the 2000 census.
The second largest in area and the most populous suburb of Buffalo, New York, the town of Amherst encompasses the village of Williamsville as well as the hamlets of Eggertsville, Getzville, Snyder, Swormville, and East Amherst. The town is in the northern part of Erie County and borders a section of the Erie Canal.
The town of Amherst was created by the State of New York on April 10, 1818 from part of the town of Buffalo (later the city of Buffalo), which itself had previously been created from the town of Clarence. Amherst was named after Lord Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British army in North America from 1758 to 1763. Timothy S. Hopkins was elected the first supervisor of the town in 1819. Part of Amherst was later separated to form the town of Cheektowaga on March 22, 1839.
The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 spurred Amherst's growth, bringing with it with new settlers and increased commerce. German immigrants settled in the northern part of the town as farmers, attracted by the fertile land in the area. The town's water resources encouraged the development of grist mills, saw mills, and other factories along Ellicott Creek. Several communities and hamlets started to develop around this time, such as Williamsville (1810s), Eggertsville and Snyder (1830s), East Amherst and Swormville (1850s), and Getzville (1860s).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 53.6 square miles (138.8 km2), of which 53.2 square miles (137.8 km2) is land and 0.39 square miles (1.0 km2), or 0.73%, is water.
Much of Amherst was originally floodplain and marshland, portions of which have been drained in recent years to facilitate development of new homes and businesses. The central and southern parts of the town are heavily suburbanized. Despite this development, the hamlets of Eggertsville and Snyder and the village of Williamsville have managed to retain much of their original character. The northern part of the town is still relatively undeveloped, with the prominent exception of the portions along Niagara Falls Boulevard (U.S. Route 62) bordering the towns of Tonawanda and Wheatfield. Some sections of northern and eastern Amherst have experienced problems with collapsing residential foundations as a result of unstable soil conditions. A few active farms may still be found in the northern part of the town.
Areas within Amherst are referred to by the former post office station names and are not legally incorporated. During the 1990s, many of these regional post offices were closed and consolidated into the central Amherst 14226 post office on Bailey Avenue, leaving only a Williamsville (14221) post office on Sheridan Drive, a Getzville (14068) post office on Millersport Highway, and an East Amherst (14051) post office on Transit Road. Mailing addresses to areas within the town are Amherst, East Amherst, Eggertsville, Getzville, Snyder, and Williamsville. These postal districts are still recognized by the post office and widely referred to by citizens.
Some of these mailing addresses overlap: some areas of Clarence directly east of Transit Road have Williamsville addresses, although for the purposes of taxes, schools and community resources, these people are residents of the Town of Clarence.
The areas listed below are governed and run by the Town of Amherst except for the Village of Williamsville, an independent political entity.
Amherst is among the top ten American cities (with a population greater than 50,000) in average yearly snowfall. Average high temperatures from May through October range from 60 to 81 degrees. Average high temperatures from November through March range from 31 to 47 degrees.
In July 2010, CNNMoney ranked Amherst 42nd in a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America. In 2012, CNNMoney.com ranked Amherst 50th. In 2011 and 2012, Amherst was selected as one of America's 100 Best Communities for Young People by America's Promise Alliance.
Many festivals are celebrated in Amherst throughout the year. The town is home to the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.
The Town of Amherst Archival Research Center is located in the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road, Amherst NY 14226 (previously housed in the Former Reformed Mennonite Church which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.)
The Northtown Center is the town's ice hockey arena. The arena is the home of the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women's Hockey League, the University at Buffalo Bulls men's ice hockey team, and the Buffalo Wings, a professional inline hockey team competing in Major League Roller Hockey.
As of the census of 2010, there were 122,366 people, 48,894 households, and 29,840 families residing in the town. There were 51,179 housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 83.8% White, 5.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.
There were 48,894 households, out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 31.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.98.
The median income for a household in the town was $55,427, and the median income for a family was $68,951. Males had a median income of $51,667 versus $32,030 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,647. About 4.2% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
There are five separate higher educational institutions with campuses in the town.
There are four separate public school districts within the town.
As of 2014, the Amherst Police Department employed 154 officers and 35 full and part-time civilian employees including the Chief, Assistant Chief, and eight captains.
Amherst has been ranked as the "Safest City in America" 1996-1998, 2000-2003, and 2010. In many other years it ranked in the top 5. The ranking is based on annual reports by the FBI, including crime statistics in six categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft.
In 2006, Amherst was ranked the second safest city in the United States, after Brick Township, New Jersey. In 2011, it ranked 6th safest out of 400 cities. Most recently in 2014, Amherst was ranked the #1 Safest City in America with a population between 100,000 and 500,000.
Millard Filmore Suburban Hospital is located in the center of town on Maple Road.