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Roof Repairs Eyed For Adams Town Hall

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
09:37AM / Thursday, January 24, 2013
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The Selectmen heard updates about multiple capital projects being done on Park Street.

ADAMS, Mass. — Town meeting may be asked to repair the roof on Town Hall.

Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said on Wednesday that the roof is sprouting leaks and he is expecting to use some operational funding to get cost estimates.

At town meeting, Butler hopes to get approval to repair.

"We think we are very much in need of a new roof on the building," Butler said. "My fear is that this roof could become a bigger roof problem like we've seen on other town buildings. It's easier to replace the shingles than it is for decking."

The main roof of the building was shingled more than 40 years ago so Butler expects new shingles should do the trick. But he wants approval to fix it now before it grows to be a larger and more expensive project.

The library may need roof work as well but the town has already set aside money to investigate those needs. Three engineering companies have bid on performing a study to find the extent of repairs needed there. The roof, front entranceway and increased accessibility have already been identified as areas to improve the library.

"We have not offered a contract to one of them yet but we expect to in the next week," Butler said.

While those two Park Street buildings may need some sprucing up, so does the street itself and the Selectmen approved the application for federal funding for a streetscape project.

The project includes new pavement, curbs, sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, streetscape furnishings and landscaping, according to Director of Community Development Donna Cesan.

The town had sought funding last year for the improvements but were not awarded. This year, town officials are hoping to improve their application by dedicating some of their Chapter 90 highway funds toward it as a match.

The town also has begun researching possible funding sources to work on the Memorial Middle School. The school is in need of long-term repairs and Butler said the town has begun talking with the state and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission about funding.

"We are confident that will reap some benefits for us," Butler said.

In the short term, the town is negotiations with Ooma Tesoro's to lease out a portion of the building. Butler said those negotiations are "moving in a positive direction." The town is also in conversation with the Youth Center for a lease on a separate section of the school but has not entered formal negotiations yet.

In other business, the Selectmen expressed "excitement" over the recent partnership with Berkshire Scenic Railway to run scenic train rides from Adams to North Adams.

Butler said it will be a big help to local businesses with thousands of tourists now being drawn to the downtown.

"We've worked extremely hard for the last four or five years to get people into downtown Adams," he said. "A common theme is that we need something that is big that brings people from outside of the community into our community."

Tags: capital projects,   scenic rail,   

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