ADAMS, Mass. — Adams is focusing in on the outdoor center planned as part of the Greylock Glen development.
Director of Community Development Donna Cesan said last week that she hopes to reach design completion sometime in February.
The anticipated $4 million to $5 million facility will be about 10,000 square feet and be net-zero energy.
Cesan said she hopes the building makes the glen more visitor-friendly and added that locals may know about all of the great trails and sites at the glen but tourists may not.
"We have wonderful outdoor spots and we all know them but if someone new here may not," Cesan said. "They go up to the Glen and all there is an outhouse in terms of visitor services."
The town was named the developer of the 1,000-acre glen some years ago after a number of failed private projects. Working in partnership with the state, an advisory committee of stakeholders came up with plans for a campground, trails, outdoors/environmental center and lodge.
The facility will contain an outfitter, the Thunderbolt Ski Museum currently housed at the Visitors Center and a cafe.
"Just imagine if we had a facility that you could not only walk the trail but have lunch and meet a friend," she said. "That is the kind of facility that we need."
She said in order to actually construct the facility the state needs to release the funds. Cesan said the town has been in contact with its state legislators.
"They know this is a priority of the town of Adams so I think we have their ear," she said.
During a public hearing, Tuesday Cesan asked residents for input on various town projects but also took the time to update folks on what projects the town has in the queue such as the ongoing Greylock Glen Resort.
George Haddad, a member of the advisory committee, said although the glen has gone through multiple iterations, the current trajectory seems to be a good fit for the town.
"That's a gold mine if someone gets in there we will rival South County," he said.
The glen was one of several projects aired at Tuesday's public hearing. Cesan also updated residents on the Adams Train Station platform for the Berkshire Scenic Railway. The town recently selected a contractor to execute the nearly $1 million project.
"It is not just a passenger platform it includes a lot of signage and fencing," she said. "It will have a wooden deck but the canopy and railings will be metal ... it will give it a more refined downtown look."
Another project of note Cesan mentioned was the Hoosac Valley Coal and Grain building along the Ashuwilticook Rail Trail the town wants to turn into a park.
Cesan said it would be the town's third along the trail, however, the land is contaminated.
The town has used a $50,000 grant to see what kind of remediation is needed and has applied for brownfields clean up money.
Cesan said it is a priority to keep the grain elevator intact.
"The grain elevator is really a landmark on Route 8 and along the bike trail," she said. "We need to save that building even if it just a timber structure."
Cesan then went on to the Route 8 reconstruction project that is on the county's Transportation Improvement Plan for 2020.
"It is in rough shape and will undergo complete reconstruction," she said. "There will be new sidewalks and crosswalks that meet ADA compliance."
Cesan added that because the town is moving toward 25 percent design completion so quickly the project may be moved up.
"We are moving forward, others are not, so we think we are going to get it in 2019," she said. She added that phase four of the rail trail that will extend the trail farther north on Route 8 will most likely be along the road.
Originally the town wanted the trail along the river, however, because of reluctance on the landowner's part, this may no longer be an option.
"That is not going to work out anymore. They have other needs for their property," she said. "It is likely that this segment will be part of the Route 8 corridor."
Cesan said if the trail is along the road, they hope to separate it with trees.
"We hope it would be separated by trees, which would beautify it which it honestly needs," she said.
She said the town will still look at options to get it off-road.
Cesan also took Topia Theater off the project list because of lack of movement and that town may also in the future look at improving the town common that is slated to be the home of a Susan B. Anthony statue.
Before closing, Selectman Joseph Nowak, who attended the meeting, thanked Cesan for her contributions to the community.
"We owe a lot of gratitude for the work you have done for this community," he said. "You have brought money in that we otherwise wouldn’t have had. It is because of your hard work that we are moving ahead."
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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.
Director of Community Development Donna Cesan said the town has decided to terminate the proposal process for the Memorial Building redevelopment with the hopes of reissuing the RFP again in September.
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Council on Aging Director Erica Girgenti said COVID-19 has created new challenges for seniors and elder services throughout the country are finding new ways to protect the community's most vulnerable.
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