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Greylock Glen Work Eyed For Thanksgiving Completion

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Brent White, who is overseeing the construction, detailed what has been done so far and what is left to do with the infrastructure project.
ADAMS, Mass. — The first phase of the infrastructure project at the Greylock Glen is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving, according to the contractor.

Brent White, of White Engineering which is overseeing the construction, said the project is moving along well and workers have not encountered any "surprises."

More than 2,000 feet of sewer line and about 1,100 feet of water line has been laid so far as workers are installing infrastructure up Gould Road.

"We would like to be out of there by Thanksgiving with the possibility of coming back in the spring to do some planting," Dudley Billings, owner of D.R. Billings that was hired for the $2 million construction, told the Greylock Glen Advisory Committee on Thursday.

Work should move down to the intersection of West Road in the next week and the whole road should be paved over by the end of the summer, he said.

The bid for the project as laid out was $1.2 million, below the available $2 million in state funds reserved for the project. With the extra money, Ed Whatley, who designed the project with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, said they will continue farther up the road than planned.

The second phase of the project, which Director of Community Development Donna Cesan said she hopes will be funded by the state MassWorks program, will finish off the infrastructure. That work will include gas, water and sewer lines as well as electrical poles and a water tank for fire protection at the site.

Cesan said the group is estimating costs to include an event parking area that could be included in the second phase. She said she talked to Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Director Joseph Thompson, who suggested organizing a small concert there if the parking lot was completed.

The infrastructure is the first part of the massive project to develop the 50 acres of land. The full project includes an amphitheater, conference center, camp grounds and hiking trails. The town searched for interest for developers to build the conference center but came up short. They have since switched focus to the campgrounds.

Ed Whatley and Brent White fielded questions from the audience about this project as well as the second phase that the town hopes to complete next year.
Cesan said her department is working on requests for proposals for the campground and for a website designer. The website RFP is expected to be released in the next couple of weeks so the new site can be launched in November or December.

"As you recall, we did not get much in way of response in regards to the lodge and conference center so we are focusing on the campground," Cesan said. "Most of our effort will be focused on our request for proposals."

Cesan said she also found a potential funder to move the project along. Common Capital is a firm that is trying to obtain $50 million in new market tax credits and can match those credits up with a potential builder, she said. The firm has said the town and the project are both eligible for the tax credits so Cesan is applying to Common Capital. The deadline for those applications are at the end of the month.

"This could be 20 to 35 percent of a project," Cesan said.

The committee also talked about invasive species work. Chris Politan of Politan Ecological Services Inc. said a management plan is nearly completed that will guide the invasive species control efforts. Environmental permitting and wetlands issues have bogged down the work but the management plan will put the group on track.

"We've been in a bit of a standstill since the last time I met with you," Politan said.

Tags: Greylock Glen,   invasive species,   

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Glen Campground Presentation Focuses on Economics, Community

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Shared Estates managing partner Daniel Dus speaks at Thursday's public forum on the Greylock Ecovillage plans. 
ADAMS, Mass. — The developer for the Greylock Glen campground pitched the plans on Thursday night as not only a economic driver that can bring the town millions in revenue but a project that will be built on accessibility, sustainability and community.
Daniel Dus, managing partner of Shared Estates, spoke to at least 150 people who packed into the former St. Mark's Church to learn about the proposal. 
"We at Shared Estates, we're not here to build a run-of-the-mill campground. We're not here to build a project that isn't top notch in every way. We're here to make this an absolutely outstanding stay option," he said. "When people come here, they're going go home and I'm going to say, I never stayed anywhere like that. That was so cool. It was so fun. It was absolutely breathtaking." 
Dus fielded a number of questions following a nearly 90-minute presentation as residents raised concerns about environmental issues, public safety, the mix of cabins and tents, Shared Estates' investment structure, and permitting. 
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