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During public comment, the board thanked resident Jeffrey Lefebvre for his 25-year involvement in youth sports.

Adams Has Permission to Demolish Commercial Street Building

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Housing court has granted the town the right to tear down a dilapidated structure on Commercial Street. 

ADAMS, Mass. — Town Counsel Edmund St. John III said housing court has given the town permission to demolish the 50 Commercial St. building.

St. John told the Selectmen in his report Wednesday that he was recently in housing court and he anticipates receiving an order from the judge to proceed in demolishing the dangerous dilapidated building.

"Today the judge issued an order that the building be demolished, and they will be sending me the written order in the next couple of days," St. John said.  

The Selectmen last month ordered owner Charles Ransford to raze the building because it was a direct danger to the public and on the verge of collapsing. Ransford was given 30 days to tear down the building but has failed to do this.

St. John said Ransford did show up in court to ask for more time. He said he had a potential buyer but was not given an extension by the judge.

"He said he had someone willing to buy the property and fix it up, but he had absolutely nothing of substance by the way of a concrete plan or even the identity of that person," he said. "The judge was not convinced."

In other business, the town will hold a special town meeting in mid to late February to clean up some outstanding items including a marijuana establishment bylaw.

"There are a number of small housekeeping types of things that we can address at special town meeting," interim Town Administrator Donna Cesan said. "We also have that marijuana bylaw to address."

Earlier this week, the Planning Board held a public hearing and buttoned up its new bylaw that would only allow a retail establishment by special permit in the downtown if it is 250 feet away from places where children regularly congregate.

Chairman John Duval said a specific date will be set in the new year.

In Cesan's report, she said she hopes to be able to award the Hoosac Valley Tourist Train Passenger Platform project to a contractor in the next few weeks after project designer HDR has reviewed the three bids.

"We are excited, and as you know we have bid this out previously and it is good to have three solid bids this time and this project will be going forward," Cesan said.

She added that once awarded, the contractor will mobilize in the winter months in hopes of completing the platform before Memorial Day weekend when the Berkshire Scenic Railway is in full operation.

Police Chief Richard Tarsa said the department recently emptied its prescription medicine kiosk and disposed of more than 300 pounds. He said the grand total for the year is more than 600 pounds.

"It’s better to have them destroyed than out on the streets," he said, 

Tags: demolition,   scenic rail,   

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Suffrage Centennial Committee Kicks Off Yearlong Celebration

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Cassandra Peltier as Alva Belmont Vanderbilt, a prominent figure in the suffrage movement.
ADAMS, Mass. — About 75 people filled The Manor on Saturday afternoon for the kickoff event of a yearlong celebration of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
The event at St. John Paul II Parish's Italianate mansion was organized by the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee. The committee serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen. 
Anthony was born in Adams and was a social reformer best known for spearheading the women's suffrage movement. She was also involved in the anti-slavery movement, collecting signatures for petitions as a teen, the temperance (prohibition of alcohol) movement, and women's financial rights.
Retired school teacher Mary Whitman, committee member and host for the day, shared why Anthony's work was so important. 
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