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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Housing Back In The Spotlight

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Williamstown - It was down but not out.

An unidentified entity signed a purchase and sales agreement for the Water-Street-based Cable Mills property on Dec. 8 and is expected to continue along the development path of the property's former owner.

Town Manager Peter Fohlin declined to identify the prospective property owner during a Dec. 12 morning telephone interview.

"My policy is to not divulge the identity but to let the developer reveal their own identity when they are ready," Fohlin said.

A closing is anticipated for Dec. 21.

The announcement may mean good news for the town's housing situation.

A plan to erect new housing was halted in June after property owner Robert Kuehn died. His Boston-based firm, Keen Development, was dissolved, and a search has been ongoing to locate a developer interested in continuing with Kuehn's vision for housing construction, including building units deemed "affordable."

There was movement on the Photech front during a Dec. 11 town Selectmen's meeting. Selectmen approved solicitation of a request for proposals for the Cole Avenue site. A trio of entities have expressed interest in the property and an RFP process enables them to make formal bids for the town-owned area.

Wohrle Hired As Assistant Treasurer-Collector

Ellen Wohrle of Cheshire has been hired to replace retiring town Assistant Treasurer-Collector Shirley Nye beginning Dec. 26. Wohrle was selected from a pool of 29 applicants for the post.

Town interview committee members Charles St. John, finance director for the town, Treasurer-Collector Janet Sadler and Assistant Town Accountant Donna Estes interviewed 11 applicants and narrowed the field to two candidates before offering the job to Wohrle.

Wohrle has been a customer service representative at the Williamstown Savings Bank for the past four years.

Storm Repairs

Town employees have repaired storm damage that impacted town properties during early December storms. Work crews cleared downed tree debris from Eastlawn Cemetery and Blodell Park. The trees were brought down by a fast-moving Dec. 1 storm that lashed the Northern Berkshires with rain and wind.

Weather was the culprit behind a downed tree along Woodcock Road, and wash-outs of a portion of Old Mill Road and three driveways located on North Street, Candlewood Drive and Hopper Road. Catch-basins clogged by storm debris have been cleared.

Southlawn Cemetery Restoration Project Completed

Gravestone restoration work at the Southlawn Cemetery has been completed. Monument Conservation Collaborative LLC restoration technicians repaired 115 gravestones, according to information provided by Fohlin.

The project was initiated by South Williamstown Community Association Historical Committee members and was supported by two voter-approved Community Preservation Act grants. Voters approved a $35,000 CPA grant for the project in 2004 and $54,000 in CPA funds during 2005. The state Historical Commission provided the project with $40,000 in grant funding.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 413-663-3384 ext. 29.
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