Update: Windsor Lake is open as of 12:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There are rumors making the rounds about the quality of the water in North Adams. While Windsor Lake (Fish Pond) was closed on Wednesday because of a high bacteria count from runoff from Tropical Storm Irene, the city's drinking water system is safe.
"Berkshire Enviro would have told me [about any problems with the drinking water ] when they told me about the lake," said North Adams Health Inspector Manuel Serrano. "We have a treatment plant and it's doing its job just fine."
The lake was tested on Monday after the near-hurricane dropped more than 5 inches on the city. Berkshire Enviro-Labs Inc. of Lee reported results on Wednesday indicated high counts of bacteria.
Mayor Richard Alcombright immediately announced the closure of Fish Pond to all swimming, fishing and boating. Picnicking on the grounds is still allowed.
The storm also caused some beach erosion and washed out a few roads in the 100-site Historic Vally Park campground, which were being regraded in time for the Labor Day weekend.
Fish Pond is being monitored and tested on a daily basis. Serrano said a high bacteria count isn't unusual after significant runoff and churning. It was hoped the lake could reopen in time for the weekend.
Roof Collapses at Historic Mill
By: Tammy Daniels On: 04:34PM / Thursday February 17, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The massive Hoosac Mill is the latest victim of the wave of roof collapses caused by this winter's record snowstorms. A section of the roof has fallen in and other areas are suspect.
It is unclear when the collapse occurred but Building Inspector William Meranti said the city "became aware of it on the 11th and posted the building as unsafe on the 11th."
The building, now known as NoAMA for North Adams, Mass., has been closed since Friday, Feb. 11, according to a message on the office phone. Attempts to contact owner Ariel Sutain have not yet been successful.
A section of roof has fallen in on the NoAMA Mill (Hoosac Mill) and structural damage is apparent in other areas. The city has closed the building and the owner has engineers checking the building.
Meranti said the entire building was deemed unsafe because of its construction and another area that is in danger of collpase. Sutain has one or several engineers working on the problem, he said.
The 265,000 square-foot mill was being leased for storage and light manufacturing. An anonymous e-mail received by iBerkshires on Thursday said "no one is allowed in the building, even those who have property stored there."
"We've been fielding a lot of question from tenants," said Meranti. "Until we get a report back saying we can use some portion of the building, we can't let anyone one in."
Sutain bought the building in 2007 and has been upgrading and repairing it, including replacing windows and repointing the brickwork, over the last few years. One section has become a gallery and another has hosted artists for the North Adams Open Studios.
The mill was built in 1906 as part of the sprawling textile empire of Arnold Print Works and then purchased by the Hoosac Cotton Co. in 1911. It was later occuped by Hunter Outdoor Products and was a mushroom factory, Delftree.
The "serrated" roof configuration was made to allow for east-facing windows that brought light into the building. The windows were covered over years ago.
Also over the weekend, an old barn/garage on River Road in Clarksburg collapsed. The last significant snowfall was last Monday and Tuesday, when up to 8 inches fell over the region. No major snowfall is expected in the next week.
Planners said they can't find anything wrong with Tunnel City Auto.
The Planning Board on Monday accepted with no discussion a report by the Compliance Committee that found no issues with Tunnel City Auto.
Abuttor Susan Lefaver of 690 State Road and other neighbors have complained consistently about the automotive repair shop for some years, saying owner Mark J. Laveriere has failed to attain or maintain a number of conditions placed on the property.
Lefaver finally brought her complaints to the City Council last month, armed with photos, and had the matter referred back to the Planning Board.
Last month, Building Inspector William Meranti said he had been called to the property a number of times but other than mild violations - such as a car left for pickup past working hours - nothing was out of order. Some of the complaints of the shop being open past business hours seemed to center on the owner doing work on his own car, which was allowable, he said.
The Compliance Committee did a site check on Sept. 10 and found the garage substantially in compliance with the 30 conditions set by the board in 2002. The committee also found no issues with visibility on exiting Chantilly Avenue, another issue the neighbors have raised.
In other business during the brief meeting, the board:
Continued a hearing on the application of Thomas Snow, perating as Snoford LLC, to reopon the former Crystal Hard Hat at 176 Union St. as a tavern until Snow appears before the Licensing Committee.
Signed off on the aesthetics of a new privacy fence with black slats to replace a decripit stockade fence at Price Chopper on State Road; new signage for Mount Williams Greenhouse and the reopening of The Alley at 23 Eagle St. under David Atwell on condition that a signage plan be submitted.
:: Preliminary Election: Deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7. (Office open from 8 to 8.)
:: General Election: Deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 18
Registration can be completed at the city clerk's office at City Hall.
Absentee ballots are now available at the city clerk's office for the Sept. 27 preliminary city election. Voters may come in between the hours of 8 and 4:30 weekdays. Written reguests for mailed ballots can be sent to City Clerk's Office, 10 Main St., North Adams, MA 01247. Deadline for absentee ballots is Monday, Sept. 26, at noon.
The preliminary election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, to narrow the field of three mayoral candidates to two. The general election to select nine city councilors and a mayor will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.