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North Adams City Council Accepts Insurance Report

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council formally accepted the findings of the Scanlon & Associates report at its meeting Tuesday night.

The move was not surprising since the majority of the councilors have sat in on the Finance Committee meetings with the mayor, business manager and the city's administrative officer.

The financial report, commissioned by Mayor Richard Alcombright, showed the city had failed to adequately to fund its share of the self-insurance trust to the tune of nearly $2 million over the last several years.

The Finance Committee, made up of Chairman Michael Bloom, Alan Marden and David Bond, recommended the council not only accept the report but urged the mayor to follow state statute and appropriately fund the Medical Trust Fund going forward. It also recommended the city review its procedures for handling "runouts," or claims that fall beyond the fiscal year they are accrued in.

The council approved all the recommendations with little comment.

The recommendations came from the latest Finance Committee on Monday, a lengthy discussion several councilors described as "interesting." (iBerkshires normally attends but blanked on this one).

 For Those Just Tuning In
• North Adams Researching Insurance Claims

• Report: North Adams Underfunded Insurance Trust by...

• North Adams Needs $396,000 to Fund Insurance Trust

•North Adams Insurance Bill at $500K

The Scanlon report

Councilor Keith Bona said he was disappointed in the failure to determine how the city came to underfund the account in the first place during the last administration. (Then Mayor John Barrett III has said the account was properly funded. There is no indication that any claims were not paid or any money diverted, but the city's full share of the premiums were not budgeted to the account).

"There really isn't a clear answer why it was done the way it was done," he said. "You came right out and asked the city treasurer and the answer we got was 'I don't know.'"

The account will be fully funded in this fiscal year using monies from various accounts. The mayor is negotiating with the public unions on a settlement for the past two years (the report goes to 2007) but Bloom cautioned the even a 50 percent settlement could be devastating.

"This negotiation is being carefully presented with the understanding the city is already under incredible financial strain because of the proposed cuts in state aid and a major decrease in projected local receipts and lack of available funds from city reserve accounts," said Bloom.  

The city will have to look at its excess tax capacity, a meals tax, sewer fee or other fees to meet its commitment or face "expensive legal action" by the unions or the Department of Revenue.

In other business:
  • The council appointed Christopher Gelinas and Gregory Onorato as permanent police officers.
  • Approved a resolution by submitted by Councilor Michael Boland recognizing the efforts of the MCLA Center for Service and Citizenship and the city of North Adams. The resolution referred to a community day being planned and based on a service day instituted by the college 18 years ago. The scope of the volunteer effort is being widened; more information can be found at and iBerkshires will have more information as the day approaches.
  • Heard a communication also by Boland on the development of a Youth Commission.
  • Approved a resolution supporting the funding of the regional library system submitted by Councilor Gailanne Cariddi.
  • Approved a sewer connection request by Jeffrey Lincoln for Lot 17 Morris Drive, Clarksburg. The Clarksburg Selectmen approved the request at its meeting two weeks ago. The Hoosac Water Quality District must also OK the connection.
  • Renewed secondhand licenses for Jeffrey Hudson's operation of Hudson's at 1112 Mass MoCA Way and for Timothy Randall's operation of Sanford & Kid at 160 Houghton St.
Resolutions are below.
North Adams City Council Resolutions 4_13_2010
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Biz Briefs: Big Y Closing Stores for Thanksgiving Holiday

Big Y Giving Workers Two Days Off

Big Y has issued a reminder that it will close all stores including Big Y World Class Markets, Table & Vine and Fresh Acres specialty market on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, as well as Friday Nov. 27. Big Y Express Gas & Convenience locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day as well.
Big Y officials say this two-day closing is to thank the thousands of employees for their continued hard work and tenacious efforts throughout the challenges of being an essential service throughout the pandemic and so their employees can rest and spend more time with their families. In addition, the closure will allow time for extra cleaning, restocking and preparations for the remainder of the holiday season.
Big Y also closed on Easter Sunday and Monday (April 12 & 13) in order to give its teams some much needed rest. In addition to these days of rest for their employees, Big Y has provided thank-you pay and now thank-you bonuses for front-line workers in recognition of their continued commitment to each other and to their customers.
All locations will re-open on Saturday, Nov. 28, for their usual hours. More information can be found on
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