The vacant mill was purchased nearly five years ago with plans to turn it into housing.
ADAMS, Mass. — The Conservation Commission last week tabled a request for determination to demolish part of the 7 Hoosac St. Mill.
The commission on Thursday heard from Emily Stockman, a wetlands scientist, representing developer Spinning Mill LLC that wants to knock down a structurally compromised portion of the historic mill.
"They want the demolition now because the caretaker on the property noticed collapsing roofs and other issues," Stockman said. "We think this needs to happen sooner than later."
South County developer Jeffrey Cohen purchased the 214,000-square-foot mill in 2014 with plans to install affordable workforce apartments. Waverly-Schumacher mill No. 4 was shuttered in 1991, putting 400 people out of work.
As of today, no major construction has begun and the mill is on the market for $2.85 million. Cohen is currently working on a $60 million renovation of the Eagle Mill in Lee into housing as part of a multi-use development around the mill.
Stockman said the flood control chute is to the east of the Adams mill and there is a tributary to the west.
The plan is to demolish the nearly 9,000-square-foot portion of the mill on the south side and remove the impervious degraded area, which will be converted to a vegetative area with erosion control set prior to work.
She said this work is away from the river.
"The demolition before you would all take place on the paved areas," she said. "We have designated a stockpile area that is out of jurisdiction and as you can see it is all west of the building a ways from the river."
Stockman said there are a few smaller areas disconnected from the main structure that will also be part of the demolition and that the structure has been cleared of asbestos.
She asked that Spinning Mill LLC receive credit for this 9,000 square feet that could go toward future mitigation work on the site.
"What we are asking the commission is for the credit for the square footage we are going to demolish and the reason for that is any future projects would be considered redevelopment," she said. "We ask that you take into account the existing degraded area because the developer does not want to lose credit."
The commission had no immediate concerns about the credit but just wanted to be sure that this credit could not be sold or used on another site.
Stockman said this is not allowed in Massachusetts.
Commissioner Thomas Robinson was concerned about the actual flood control chute and said although the demolition project would likely not affect the area, future construction could affect the flood control.
"This building probably is as close to the flood chute as any building project we have ever had before this board and I am very concerned about the integrity of the walls," he said. "One side is 2 feet from the wall and the other is less than 50 feet."
Robinson suggested that the company take out a bond prior to work.
Commissioner James Fassell agreed and noted that flood control is critical to the town and the chutes cannot be compromised.
"These walls get a bad rap in town but without those walls, the town does not exist," he said.
Stockman said temporary access will be needed along the flood control for this project but it will be clear that vehicles have to stay away from the wall. She added that she would convey this concern to the developers.
Even though the commissioners were familiar with the site, Fassell asked that they visit it before making a determination at a meeting later this month.
Stockman did add that Spinning Mill plans to come before the commission for the full Notice of Intention once it is ready to go forward with the project.
In other business, the commission also approved a negative request for determination for upcoming construction on Russell Field on behalf of the town of Admas.
The town has applied for funds to overhaul the park and playing fields.
The commission did place a few mandates on the town and asked that they clean debris from the stream bed, designate a ten foot wide no mowing area along the stream, and phase the project.
There was a fear that if heavy rains hit the town during the regrading and reseeding the park would turn into a mud pit.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to email@example.com.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
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.
Only two candidates will be interviewed Thursday for the Adams Cheshire Regional School District superintendent position with candidate Martin McEvoy withdrawing his name from consideration. click for more
The Parks Commission on Monday took care of most of the fall requests for field usage. Four separate groups were represented and although a few issues cropped up, all requests were approved. click for more
Adams Conservation Commission praised the use of an organic herbicide on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.
At Thursday’s commission meeting members discussed the process that resulted in an organic herbicide being applied along the trail to knock down some overgrown vegetation. click for more