Chairman John Duval suggested holding a meeting with the residents in the Crotteau Street neighborhood to explain the project.
ADAMS, Mass. — The state approved the town's Complete Streets application and work on Crotteau Street is slated to begin in 2019.
Interim Town Administrator Donna Cesan told the Selectmen on Wednesday that the state Department of Transportation has approved the town's Tier 3 application for $290,281.
"The projects will focus on sidewalks and handicapped ramps," Cesan said. "We did not receive the full amount of $400,000 as requested but MassDOT noted that this past round has been especially competitive, and they indicate that the town should be proud of its application."
Three other Berkshire communities were in this round to receive state funds to make improvements to their roadways. Williamstown also received funds while Cheshire did not.
Crotteau runs parallel to the Hoosic River from Warden Drive south to Murray Street. Albert Reid Field is on its north end. The improvements will include new sidewalks and Americans With Disabilities' compliant wheelchair ramps on Crotteau and a portion of Murray to increase pedestrian connectivity within the town and with the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. The project will also improve pavement and drainage conditions along Crotteau Street.
Cesan said the town is currently in the design phase of the project and she hopes they can go out to bid in the winter. The project must be complete by Sept. 30, 2019.
Selectman John Duval suggested that the board meet with the Crotteau Street residents to go over the project.
"I think it would be a great idea if the board could hold a meeting with really that precinct and inform them of the project and hear their concerns," Duval said.
Cesan suggested extending these meetings to all precincts.
"A good ol' fashioned neighborhood meeting," she said. "The board can meet with residents and tell them what is going on in their neighborhoods and explain these projects in greater detail but also hear concerns one on one."
Cesan had some less good news and noted that only one bid, from Casanova Remodeling LLC, was received to make repairs to the Town Hall roof.
"Unfortunately, we only received a single bid and that bid was deemed unacceptable," she said. "We will reach out to contractors to see what has been their hesitancy."
Cesan believed because the project required Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) certification, contractors were deterred. She said projects more than $150,000 need to include the certification in the bid documents.
Cesan said if this is the case, the town will attempt to tweak the project.
"I will be talking to the architects and we will probably make that adjustment," she said. "I hope to release the bids again as soon as possible."
She concluded her report by saying the Department of Public Works has ordered paint for repainting all the crosswalks.
Duval asked that in the future the town repaints the crosswalks every spring and touch them up in the fall.
"We are trying to be a tourist community they shouldn't be fading away," he said.
In other business, the Selectmen ratified the hiring of Community Development Program Manager Rebecca Ferguson.
"I am very excited to be working with Rebecca given her background and her experience I think it will be a very good fit within the department," Cesan said. "I look forward to having her start and I think she will hit the ground running."
Ferguson formerly worked with the Trustees of Reservations and will begin working for the town in August.
Before the meeting started, the Selectmen opened the floor for public comment and heard from some residents concerned about the Berkshire Scenic Railways' idling train and possible harmful emissions.
"I am just wondering why the locomotive out in front of the houses idles for at least three hours every Saturday and Sunday," resident Barbara Bates said. "Is the town going to do something about the emissions in our neighborhood?"
Cesan said the emissions should not be an issue because before the train was even brought to Adams it had to pass a state environmental test.
"They had to test it to see what kind of impact it would have on the neighborhood and there were no concerns," she said.
Cesan did say the idling may be an issue and said she would reach out to Berkshire Scenic Railway.
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Adams Advertising Community Development Director Post Again
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The town will restart its search for a new community development director after the individual selected backed out of the position.
Town Administrator Jay Green said last week that the finalist candidate, to be ratified by the Selectmen, had informed the town that he was withdrawing his name for "personal reasons."
"At this point, we are going to re-advertise the position and assess our options from there," Green said. "This is about finding the right person – the right fit – for our community, so we are not going to arbitrarily rush the process or settle."
Green announced at a Selectmen's meeting on Jan. 6 that after finalist interviews, he had hired a new head for the Community Development Department. He planned to bring the name forth at the board's next regularly scheduled meeting to ratify the hiring.
The Board of Health endorsed a report from Code Enforcement Officer Mark Blaisdell stating that the Parks Commission's allegation that the Little League did not enforce mask-wearing during its season was baseless. click for more
The Selectmen approved new Police Chief Scott Kelley's contract and his first day on the job will be Tuesday, Jan. 19
The three-year contract was approved after a brief executive session at the tail end of Wednesday's meeting. click for more