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Donna Cesan takes the administrator's seat at Wednesday's meeting of the Selectmen.

Cesan Appointed as Interim Adams Town Administrator

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The town is taking the owner of 50 Commercial St. to housing court for not complying with an order to demolish the building.

ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen have appointed Director of Community Development Donna Cesan as the interim town administrator.

After officially accepting Tony Mazzucco's letter of resignation Wednesday, the board unanimously voted to again have Cesan fill in until a new administrator can be hired.

"She has done this in the past for us and we have been very grateful as a board and as a town that she has done this when she already has a full-time job," Chairman John Duval said. "We thank her for stepping up and helping us out through this transition."

This is not Cesan's first run as interim town administrator; she served for about six months during the search that found Mazzucco after former Town Administrator Jonathan Butler left in 2014.

Cesan said she always enjoys stepping into the role.

"I always enjoy working directly with the board so I look forward to these next several months," she said. 

Mazzucco, who was hired in 2014 after a lengthy search process, announced last month that he would be leaving at the end of his three-year contract with the town after being hired as general manager of Norwood, closer to his hometown in eastern Massachusetts. Mazzucco officially left the job Dec. 4.

The Selectmen have yet to solidify a plan to hire a new town administrator.  

In Cesan's town administrator report, she said the Route 8 design project is at 25 percent design completion and is currently being reviewed by the state Department of Transportation.

"Typically, 90 percent of the effort in getting a project through to the Department of Transportation is to get it to 25 percent design," she said. "We feel really good about that."  

Cesan said the project is estimated to cost $4.46 million and will span 6,800 linear feet from Duke's Sand and Gravel to McDonald's. She said it will include milling and overlay of existing pavement, new sidewalks, bike lanes, new signage and improved drainage.

She said the state is expediting the process and has already chosen a project manager. Cesan added that the project is on the state's Transportation Improvement Program for 2020 but is to be accelerated and could be funded and executed a year earlier.

A public hearing is expected to be held in the early spring.

Town Counsel Edmund St. John III reported that Charles Ransford has not followed the town's order to demolish his property at 50 Commercial St.

Because of the of the dire condition of the building, the town ordered Ransford to raze it within 30 days because it was a public safety concern.

St. John said he has failed to do this and he is preparing a housing court complaint to obtain a demolition order and seek permission to demolish the building.

Selectman Joseph Nowak asked how soon the building can come down.

"I'd like to get that down before winter snow," he said. "If we get a heavy snow I am worried that building is going to collapse."

St. John said he wants to get it into court in the next couple of weeks but if the building's condition worsens and is an imminent danger, he can ask for an emergency demolition order.

Because the town is footing the bill for the demolition, a lien will be placed on the property. 

Tags: demolition,   interim appointment,   town administrator,   

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Adams Board of Health Ready to Finalize Tobacco Regulations

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health wrapped up final edits on new tobacco regulations last week and inched closer to a public hearing.
Members answered some lingering questions Wednesday in regard to the proposed tobacco sales permit and hope to vote on a final draft next month.
"Thank you for going through this with a fine-toothed comb," board member David Rhoads said. "It looks good."
Some months ago, the Board of Health agreed to implement a new regulation that would limit the amount of tobacco sales permits allowed in town. The new regulation would not affect those already selling tobacco.
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