The Selectmen are expecting to set a date for a special town meeting to held in the spring.
ADAMS, Mass. — The town is eying early March for a special town meeting to deal with several issues.
Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said at Wednesday's meeting of the Board of Selectmen that he will seek final approval from the board on a date as early as its next meeting and as late as its first meeting in January.
This meeting will be held to seek public approval for the funding of several projects, including the proposed Adams Train Station and Adams Free Library projects, along with a solar bylaw.
On Nov. 27, the town was granted $386,820 in state funding from a Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities grant to fund the building of a train station for the Adams end of the Berkshire Scenic Railway project. As a stipulation of its grant award, the town must show proof of non-state funding in the amount of approximately $150,000, which it will seek to appropriate through capital funds.
The proposed train station will be built at a former car wash located at 4 Hoosac St., across the street from the Adams Visitors Center, pending the town's acquisition of this land from its current owner. Preliminary engineering for the project is completed. The town must also seek public approval for the purchase-and-sale agreement that Butler said is close to being finalized.
Butler recommends the town make a free cash investment to fund the project that will roll into its capital investments, to curb any tax burdens on residents.
"It's a good capital project, in that we're getting a $550,000 for $150,000 worth of our own investment," Butler said.
Based on a series of meetings with a subcommittee delegated to create a running list of capital investments for the town, Butler said town appropriations will "definitely be included" in the cost of the project's completion, barring public approval.
A meeting for town officials to conduct a walk-through with Austin Design Inc. is scheduled for Tuesday, when the scope of the project and its total costs will be discussed. According to Community Development Director Donna Cesan, the town is uncertain from what sources the town will seek funding for the total costs of library renovations as of yet.
On Monday, the Planning Board discussed its creation of a draft solar bylaw to submit to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission and Selectmen for review during a workshop. Major points of focus included distinguishing ground and roof-mounted panels and/or the size and scale of each project by placing provisions on its energy output or acreage of land use. Also, the Planning Board recommends that it is the permit-granting authority, which would necessitate a variance in the current town bylaws.
The board will reconvene on its bylaw revisions on Dec. 23, when it hopes to have a completed draft.
"The Planning Board is working towards having an identified timeline for finalizing that, so it's ready for special town meeting," Butler said.