The Cemetery Commission is concerned about toppled stones in Maple Street Cemetery, the town's oldest burying ground that dates to the late 1700s.
ADAMS, Mass. — The Cemetery Commission may try to create a volunteer group to help clean up Maple Street Cemetery and stand fallen stones.
The Cemetery Commission visited both Maple Street and Bellevue cemeteries Thursday to survey the conditions of the Harrington and Plunkett mausoleums but were more concerned about the downed stones at Maple Street.
"There are a lot of stones down," Chairman Fred Hobart said. "It's bad."
Commissioner Bruce Shepley said he would like to start a volunteer group, much like the one formed in North Adams by Roger Eurbin to restore Hill Side Cemetery, and hold cleanup sessions.
"They are doing some amazing things at Hill Side with volunteer groups. I wonder if there is an interest in Adams?" he said. "It is a social thing and it makes a huge difference. The cemetery has a rich history and there is a lot of energy and a lot of wisdom out there that is retired and looking for something to do."
Commissioner Jim Taylor said the commission should contact Eurbin to see how he got his group started.
The commission was unable to enter the Plunkett Mausoleum because there is still an open spot in it and they do not have access, however, they were able to enter the Harrington Mausoleum at Bellevue.
Shepley said he was concerned with some of the caulking inside of the mausoleum and the metal window frame. He said the stained-glass window looked to be in good shape.
"To my untrained eye the integrity of that glass looks to be OK but the metal frame near the bottom is coming up," he said.
He said he will check with the Department of Public Works about fixing it, and cleaning floor and power washing the outside of the mausoleum.
"This one is marble and I think it is stained because it has a copper roof so the staining comes from oxidation," he said.
The cemetery has funds set up to maintain the mausoleums, however, the commission was unsure of the balance.
Before leaving the cemetery, Shepley said he would be interested in replacing the shed at Bellevue.
"The town is in dire straits, and there is really little investment that takes place in the town," he said. "As a commissioner, I feel the responsibility to invest and if it is a reasonable cost I think we should spend the money ... you can't sit on the money forever."
Last month Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco said he wanted to use Cemetery Funds to replace the white shed that is in disrepair.
The shed holds maintenance equipment and Mazzucco said he would like to install a prefabricated steel building that he estimates will cost $100,000.
Originally the commissioners were hesitant to spend that amount but Thursday felt they need to spend the money as long as the shed is only used to benefit the cemetery.
Taylor said with rising prices the sooner the commission acts the cheaper the project will be. He added that it is the commission's responsibility.
"We have a responsibility to maintain the cemeteries for future commissions," he said.
The commissioners said they would invite Mazzucco back to a meeting when he has some more solid numbers.
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