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County Ambulance to Become Lanesborough's Primary EMS

County Ambulance will now serve as the town's primary EMS. The Board of Selectmen last week signed an agreement with the Pittsfield-based ambulance provider to handle calls in town. Town Manager Kelli Robbins said the three-year agreement comes with no cost to the town. "I would like to see this done as a trial," Robbins said.

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Pittsfield Councilors Split on Water/Sewer Rate Increase

The City Council is split on setting water and sewer rates for the next 18 months. In a 6-5 vote Tuesday night, the City Council's Committee of the whole approved the mayor plan to raise water rates by 20 percent and sewer rated by 50 percent starting on Jan. 1. However, the final decision has to be made next Tuesday and the council has requested more information before casting that vote.

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Clarksburg Raises Water District Rates

The Select Board, acting as the water commissioners, voted on Nov. 14 to increase the yearly rate by $120 effective Jan. 1, 2019.

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Tyer Releases Rate Plan to Pay For $74M Wastewater Project

Mayor Linda Tyer is introducing a plan to raise sewer rates over the next seven years to pay for the $74 million wastewater treatment project. The sewer rate increase will be particularly front-loaded with a 50 percent increase at the start of 2019, should the City Council approve the plan. That would raise the current rate to $362.34 per year - an increase of $114.65 per year for a household with two toilets - effective January 1, 2019.

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Adams Fire District Given Extension on Well Upgrades

After the boil water order in August, the DEP mandated that the district install permanent injectors on all four of their wells which upped the price to $950,000.

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Clarksburg, Williamstown Awarded State Housing Grants

The private water district was taken over last year by the town because of the cooperative's difficulty in finding trustees and addressing the significant infrastructure upgrades required for the more than 30-year-old district.

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Adams Board of Health Wants to Better Emergency Communication

The Board of Health wants to establish a clearer communication protocol for local emergencies, such as the boil water order issued nearly three weeks ago.

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Clarksburg Officials Want More Answers on Briggsville Water Takeover

The new Select Board is hitting the pause button on the decision to take over the Briggsville Water District.

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Adams Fire District Lifts Boil Water Order for Customers

The Adams Fire District has lifted the boil order on its water system enacted last week after E. coli was found in two water samples.

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Cheshire May Take Over Private Water System

Town officials were initially hesitant to take the water system because they knew it had issues. The Water Department was not interested either.

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Cheshire to Pursue Green Communities Status

Last month, the board heard a presentation from a Green Community representative who spelled out the state program that the town can take advantage of if it adopts policies including the stretch code that extends the town building code to require higher energy efficiency construction.

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Cheshire Asked to Take Over Water System

The Selectmen received a letter from Mathew Hutchinson, owner of the private company that supplies water to the Hutchinson development off Route 8, which stated that he wanted out of the operation.

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Pittsfield: $69 Million Worth of Water Upgrades Coming Next

While much of the talk recently has been on a $74 million upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant, upgrades to the water system are following closely behind. Doug Gove, a consultant with Aecom, reported to the City Council's Public Works subcommittee Monday evening that in the next seven years the water system will need $69 million worth of repairs. However, Gove said there is an option to stagger out the repairs over time to ease the financial burden.

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Cheshire Water Fails to Make Finals in National Competition

Cheshire had high hopes of making it into the finals but, alas, this wasn't the year. The five semi-finalists chosen were from Iowa, Louisana, North Dakota, Maryland, and Wisconson.

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Cheshire Water to Compete in National Taste Test

The Cheshire Water Department will represent the Bay State next week at the D.C.'s Rural Water Rally Great American Taste Test.

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North Adams Water Well Below Lead, Copper Action Levels

The state Department of Environmental Protection had ordered the testing after it said the Water Department failed over three years to consistently use a soda ash additive to adjust the water's pH to prevent corrision. The additive is designed to adjust the pH to 7 or higher

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Cheshire Water Wins First In Statewide Taste Test

Cheshire water took home the gold in the 12th annual Rural Water Association Water Taste Test. Water Department Superintendent Travis Delratez presented the Selectmen on Tuesday with an award the Water Department won in a statewide water tasting competition Sept. 13.

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Connell Calls For Commission to Oversee Water/Wastewater

Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell wants a commission to oversee the water and wastewater operations. Connell said years ago there was one but it was halted under former city Commissioner of Public Utilities William Forestell. Now the city is facing what could be up to $150 million worth of capital upgrades to the two treatment centers and Connell wants that commission back in place to make sure everything is done right.

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Cheshire Has Time to Make Dam Removal Decision

The Selectmen have until the end of the year to make a decision on whether or not to remove Kitchen Brook Dam using state funds. Eric Ford, a wetlands ecologist with the Division of Ecological Restoration, met with the board and the water commissioners on Tuesday. Although he was able to answer some of the town's questions, the selectmen still were unsure which way to go.

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North Adams Residents Alerted to Water Reporting Errors

Officials say the city's water is safe, but residents with compromised immune systems are still being cautioned after three water samples came up positive for total coliform bacteria. According to a letter mailed to residents from the Water Department, random testing in June turned up positive samples of coliform bacteria. However, the department says samples taken from the same sites the next day came up negative.

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North Adams Councils Approves $800K in Capital Borrowing

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized a borrowing of $783,910 for a number of infrastructure upgrades, including an engineering study of the city's two reservoir dams. Mayor Richard Alcombright said the borrowing will be rolled into a long-term bond in the next couple years. The ability to borrow at this point comes from the stabilization of the city's finances because reserves are up and a significant amount of debt is falling off.

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North Adams Council Accepts Bullett Resignation, Mulls Replacement

The council's Rule 25 sets out a process for filling mid-term vacancies. Candidates can submit letters of interest and qualifications and are given a chance to speak before the council for three minutes. Members may ask questions of the candidates and then take nominations and vote.

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Adams-Cheshire District Fixing Water Taps That Tested Positive For Lead

Eight plumbing fixtures in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District have tested positive for actionable levels of lead. All were turned off on Friday. Faucets and other water fixtures in the three schools in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District were tested for lead and copper in late December through a state grant.

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