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City Councilor Lisa Blackmer, left, Bart Raser, Mayor Richard Alcombright, Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, Erin Clark, Marshall Raser and Rich Talbot.

Carr Hardware 'Opens' To Eager Crowd

Staff ReportsiBerkshires
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Above, Rich Talbot, of True Value, presents a beaming Bart Raser with plaque of appreciation; right, the store was crowded around noontime. This is the Raser family's 50th year in operating the Carr chain.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More than 1,000 people had been through the doors of the new Carr Hardware on State Road by noon on Saturday.

The grand opening celebration kicked off on Saturday morning and included popcorn, specials, live music, Whoopee radio and plenty of specials. It continues Saturday until 5 and picks up on Sunday with new specials. 

"The turnout is spectacular," said owner Bart Raser after a ribbon cutting with Mayor Richard Alcombright and state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams. "We've had over a 1,000 people come through our doors today and it's only 12 o'clock ... We're exceeding expectations."

Cars were trying to find places to park and the lines at the register were five and six deep at some points as costumers scooped up bargains or just wanted to check out Carr's new digs.

The new store is triple the size of Carr's former cramped quarters on State Street. The former car dealership at the corner of State Road and Roberts Drive has 10,000 square feet of space that's allowed the True Value store to expand its offerings for hardware, rentals, kitchen and bath fixtures, some home goods, lighting and paint, as well as a line of Agway products.

"It's a tremendous reuse of space that we had here," said Alcombright. "I think the location to this store is absolutely critical  [between North Adams and Williamstown]. And the addition of the Agway store ... to bring that back was just a great business choice."

North Berkshire has been without an Agway since the longtime store in Williamstown went out of business a few years ago. Carr now offers its line of bird food and pet products, among other things.

Carr buckets were being sold to benefit BFAIR.
Shoppers were filling up yellow Carr buckets for 25 percent off. The sale of the buckets for $3.99 were benefiting Berkshire Family And Individual Resources.

"People are supporting BFAIR, which is a good organization," said Raser. "We're selling buckets and giving them the proceedd and they've gotten almost 500 buckets so far."

True Value representatives Rich Talbot and Erin Clark were on hand for the festivities. Clark, a regional manager overseeing some 350 True Value stores from Maine to Connecticut, said the Carr and True Value had shared interests in "standing up for the community."

Talbot, a retail consultant for the region, presented Raser and his staff a plaque recognizing the opening.

"I work with the store on a daily basis and I cover stores from Central Mass west," said Talbot, whose region extends to Albany, N.Y., and includes all five Carr Hardwares. "This is a big event: a new store, new opportunities.

Talbot said the new Carr is laid out along the True Value prototype. "The concept of the layout for this store has been out about four years," he said. "It's been a success for us, I think it's going to be a success here for them ... If you look at today, it's looks like it's being very well received."

The store opened earlier than planned in January. Raser said he was pleased with the response since.

"Business has been strong," he said. "It's a great location, we're just happy to be here. ... The team we've been able to put together has just done a great job."

The new Carr is open Monday through Fridays from 7:30 to 6; Saturdays from 7:30 to 5 and Sundays, 10 to 4.

Tags: Carr,   opening,   

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Elfenbein Named to Mount Greylock Regional School Committee

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

Curtis Elfenbein responds to a question during Wednesday's combined meeting of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee and the select boards from Lanesborough and Williamstown.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Lanesborough resident Curtis Elfenbein on Wednesday was appointed to fill two years of an unexpired term on the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee. 
By a vote of 12-1, the six remaining School Committee members and the select boards from Lanesborough and Williamstown chose Elfenbein over Christine Canning-Wilson in a virtual meeting moderated by Lanesborough Town Moderator Chris Dodig.
School Committee member Steven Miller of Williamstown cast the vote for Canning-Wilson. Everyone qualified to vote on the interim appointment participated in the meeting except for John Goerlach of the Lanesborough Board of Selectmen.
The elected officials from the district and two towns questioned the two applicants on a variety of topics for about 75 minutes prior to voting.
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