Adams: 2017 In Review
With the downsizing of the ACRSD, Adams and Cheshire were pit against each other in meetings leading up to the vote to close either CT Plunkett or Cheshire Elementary School.
With a school committee vote of 4-3 down town lines in March, Cheshire Elementary School closed and Plunkett now houses grades pre-k through three. All other grades are now at Hoosac Valley.
This furthered the rift between the two communities but both communities are now working together to amend the antiquated district agreement.
In a rebranding effort, the School Committee voted to rename the school Hoosac Valley Elementary, which generated some anger among Adams residents who felt the committee did not have the right to remove the name of one of the town’s historical residents who helped fund the construction of the school that opened in 1924.
Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco, who was pivotal in efforts to keep the school open, also left the town in December after his three-year contract expired. Mazzucco, who took the position of general manager in Norwood, decided to leave Adams to be closer to his home.
Mazzucco helped build up a more sustainable budget as well as a more transparent budget process over his tenure. He also was an advocate for arts groups and new town events such as the Harry Potter-inspired MAGICON, which took place this summer.
Although the town saw new events such as MAGICON and the improved Berkshire Mountain Faerie Festival this year, it also said goodbye to cornerstone events the Fall Run and Bike Night. Organizer Mike Roberts, owner of Custom City Cycles, decided to end the event after 35 rides and more than $500,000 raised for charity.
Mazzucco also led the charge against the former Curtis Paper Mill, on Howland Avenue, which the town is in the process of taking for almost $500,000 in unpaid taxes. Mazzucco also helped push through the demolition order of 50 Commercial St., which was found to be a danger to the public in housing court.
The town will tear down the building next year.
The town is in the process of searching for a new town administrator and currently, Director of Community Development Donna Cesan is filling in as interim town administrator.
The Board of Selectmen changed this year with new Selectwoman Christine Hoyt, who won the vacant seat left by Jeffrey Snoonian. Snoonian opted not to seek re-election.
Selectman Arthur “Skip” Harrington also resigned from the board this year but his seat is being left unfilled until the 2018 election.
The town also welcomed a new Fire Chief John Pansecchi. He replaces Paul Goyette, who decided to retire.
The town also finished the Berkshire Scenic Railway, which was cut short last year after state funds ran dry. In 2016 the state ponied up $2.6 million to fund the last stretch of track.
The town is now perusing the construction of a passenger platform which they hope to begin in the new year.
In the spring of 2017, the town also celebrated the completion of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail extension project, which brought the trail another 1.2 miles through Adams from Hoosac Street to Lime Street.
The town also saw some progress at the Greylock Glen with the completion of the Meadow Loop trail. In 2018, the town will focus on designing and making progress on the outdoor center at the Glen.
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