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The convenience store will tear down the old public works buildings for a new 5,800-square-foot store and four fueling stations.
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An interior schematic of the proposed store.
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One of two historic markers that will be removed and taken to the new City Yard on Hodges Cross Road.

Cumberland Farms Submits Plans for New Ashland Street Store

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The store will be on the south end of the parcel and the pump stations to the north. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Cumberland Farms Inc. has submitted plans for a new store on Ashland Street nearly a year after bidding on the old City Yard.
According to documents filed for Monday's Planning Board meeting by the company's representatives Bacon Wilson Attorneys at Law, the regional chain is proposing a 5,814-square-foot convenience store and four fueling stations with eight pumps including diesel at 227 Ashland.
The former public works buildings will be razed and the two lots that make up the parcel — 227 and 245 — will be consolidated into one 50,000 square foot lot. That will give the facility more than 340 feet of frontage.
Cumberland Farms is asking to reduce the curb cuts from four to three and to have LED-illuminated directional signage indicating entrances and exits. There will be 30 parking spaces total and two of those as handicapped accessible. The loading area and dumpster area will be screened in on the south side of the property. 
Two 24,000-gallon, double-walled, fiberglass underground tanks will be installed to service the fueling stations. 
The traffic assessment, done by McMahon Associates, estimated 88 new vehicle trips (44 entering and 44 exiting) during the peak weekday morning hour and 100 new vehicle trips (50 entering/50 exiting) during the peak weekday afternoon hour. 
"Because of the predominately pass-by nature of the proposed Cumberland Farms convenience store and gasoline station, the project is not expected to result in a significant impact on the overall traffic operations of Ashland Street or the study area roadways," according to the application. 
The company bid on the property, one of six the city put up for sale, last October for $575,000.
The agreement states the city will share 50 percent of any cleanup costs up to $287,500, or half the purchase price. The costs incurred for the testing were entirely on Cumberland Farms.
Mayor Thomas Bernard on Thursday said the city and the company had not entered into final negotiations and that he had not yet seen the environmental impact report. He anticipated any talks to begin after Monday's review of Cumberland Farms' site plan. The company also anticipates meeting with the Zoning Board of Appeals on Sept. 17.
The Department of Public Works site was valued at $475,000 by appraisers earlier in 2017 when it was brought forward with five other properties then Mayor Richard Alcombright requested to put up for sale. The DPW has moved into the former anodizing plan on Hodges Cross Road that it purchased in 2016.
The old City Yard dates back more than a century but as the equipment to maintain the roads and infrastructure became larger and more expensive, the facility became cramped, outdated and no longer practical. The desire at the time it was put up for sale was to bring that section more in line with the development that had been occurring along Ashland Street. The nearby Clark Biscuit mill has been renovated into apartments, a number of structures have been rehabilitated along the road including the Armory and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has torn down a scrapyard and constructed a $3 million facilities building. 
At the same time, Cumberland Farms had been looking for a larger property in the downtown area on which to build a newer, updated convenience store and add more pumps. The current store at 80 Ashland St. that was built in 1982 is obsolete compared with the new building program the company began nearly a decade ago. 
In the past few years, the Westborough company has built a new Cumbies at Hodges Cross Road and Curran Highway and at the bottom of the Mohawk Trail. One of the first of its new Colonial-style convenience stores was built in Williamstown after a fire there and it is also proposing a new store on Commercial Street in Adams to replace an older one also built around 1982.
Monday's Planning Board will also include applications for three more businesses to move into 60 Roberts Drive, the Norad Mill, and plans for Black Loom, a restaurant proposed for the former Incarnation Church at 1288 Massachusetts Ave. The eatery, part of the plans for the Tourists spa and resort with chef Cortney Burns, was postponed from last month's meeting by the request of the applicant.

Tags: city yard,   cumberland farms,   Planning Board,   

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COVID Outbreak Hits North Adams Nursing Home; Health Officials Urge Vaccination

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Health officials are trying to determine if a significant outbreak of COVID-19 at a local nursing home is the highly transmissible Delta variant. 
North Adams Commons reported three vaccinated residents with infections as of Friday morning. The total is now 20 residents and two staff members, said Lisa Gaudet, a spokesperson for Berkshire Healthcare that operates the nursing home. Only one of those is unvaccinated, she said. 
The 119-bed skilled nursing facility is now closed to visitors and new admissions as health officials track down the source of the infection and determine if it's a variant. Gaudet said all residents and staff were being tested so the numbers may change. 
"Clearly we're hearing in the national and local news about variants that are creating these breakthrough cases," Gaudet said. "We benefited from this vaccination when we saw all of our infections go down ... So this is something that is obviously concerning to us."
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