Adams Selects Designer For Library Project

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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The selectmen asked Town Administrator Jonathan Butler to prepare a report on parking meters so they have a better understanding of ways to handle an expected increase in traffic downtown.

ADAMS, Mass. — The town has chosen to hire Austin Design Co. to plan a renovation of the library.

Voters previously allocated $75,000 for engineering of a renovation and after three companies submitted proposals, Austin Design Co. of Colrain has been selected. edm Architects and Barry Architects also submitted proposals.

"They came in with a great concept and they have a great portfolio in other towns they've worked with," Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said on Wednesday, adding that the town has not worked with Austin before. "The town is looking at a large investment in the library looking down the road but we have the ball rolling."

The work will get the project to a "shovel ready" state and town officials will seek out funding.

The building upgrade could be eligible for partial funding from the state Historical Commission but without knowing the costs, which Austin will be asked to provide, the town is not sure which funding source would be the best.

"The building absolutely needs a roofing project and some masonry work," Butler said.

Additionally, the front facade will be eyed for renovation, which continues the town's work to revitalize Park Street.

With the downtown work moving along — with renovations to many Park Street buildings, the opening or soon-to-open new businesses and a takeover of the Adams Visitors Center on Hoosac Street — town officials are expecting eventual increases in traffic. Chairman Arthur "Skip" Harrington wants to get ahead on parking issues that could arise.

Harrington asked that Butler gather information and statistics about the various options for parking — such as mechanical meters, enforcement and ticketing and the more modern kiosk systems. Harrington hopes to get cost estimates on the upkeep of the various options as well as pros and cons.

"I think that we're in a point in our town's history where things are about to moving along quite well with a lot of change coming," Harrington said.

Butler said a detailed report would be beneficial because "it seems like it comes up every year." However, his opinion after looking at it for other projects is that meters are not cost effective.

"The cost is far exceeding the revenues that would come in," Butler said, adding that it is not only paying for an officer to patrol and write tickets but also replacing the meters every 10 years and routine maintenance. The meters are also becoming more technological and updated software also comes at a cost each year, he said.

On Summer Street, the town had previously opted not to install kiosks because of an estimated $11,000 installation fee.

Tags: capital projects,   parking,   parking meters,   public library,   

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