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Adams Selectmen Get Transfer Station Update

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen were given an update on the transfer station this week and looked at new sticker options.
Executive Assistant to the Town Administrator Kevin Towle gave a short presentation during a selectmen's workshop Wednesday about the transfer station said use numbers seem to be tracking consistently with last years and, in some cases, upwards. 
"This is a comparison from this year vs last year and you can see overall we are trending upwards," Towle said. "I do want to say there isn't really a scientific logic behind it because it is not an apples-to-apples comparison so when you see this don't get too excited but it is general trending upwards which is a good thing."
He said to keep in mind that the data only accounts for six months compared to fiscal 2018's eight months of data. He said there was also a fee increase in fiscal 2019.
He presented a graphic that showed that the number of new stickers sold is down 16 percent, which represents 463. Last fiscal year this amount was 550.
But sticker revenue has increased 63 percent or $9,020 over fiscal 2018's $14,230.
Bag tags sold is down 63 percent but Towle said this could be because more people are recycling.
Bag tag revenue is down 56 percent and total revenue is up 17 percent at $27,193.
Towle said currently a sticker costs $50 a year and $10 for an additional sticker. Bag tags cost $1.20.
Adams is cheaper than other communities. North Adams charges $60 for an annual sticker while Williamstown charges $90 and Cheshire charges $100.
Towle introduced the concept of a $20 temporary pass that would allow people to utilize the transfer station just for a week. He first proposed that there would be no limit to the number of bags this pass would allow.
"I understand people coming in to clean up a deceased relatives house and they want to use the transfer station, but they aren't a resident," he said. "I just put down a quick proposal that we could workshop ... it is an option for nonresidents or residents who just want to do some substantial cleaning." 
The Selectmen liked the idea but echoed Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management Program Director Linda Cernik's sentiment that people would abuse the pass.
"It has some merit, but we need control over everything," Chairman John Duval said. "People are resourceful."
Cernik added that if people throw away things that are not supposed to be taken at the transfer station it could cost the town.
One suggestion was to only allow a specific number of bags.
Cernik also asked that the town investigate a seasonal pass for those who may not live in the area the entire year.
"I am sure there are residents in Adams that live in Florida during the summer and in the winter, they live in Adams but they still want to use the transfer station," she said.
Before moving on, the Selectmen discussed what day during the week the transfer station would be open during summer.
Ultimately the board agreed on Thursday but noted this could change if it does not work out this coming summer.
"It is hard to pick a day that would be most advantageous for people going to the transfer station," Selectman Joseph Nowak said.
The Selectmen discussed Mondays thinking it would be good for those who clean up their homes during and after the weekend, but it was brought up that a majority of holidays fall on Monday.
Thursday was chosen because it was felt that it would be more beneficial for those leaving town for the weekend.
The Selectmen will have to vote on this at a future meeting.
Also in regard to the transfer station, Towle said money was used from the Recycling Dividends Program grant to purchase signage at the transfer station's entrance and at the recycling areas.
"They are very large signs and they are visible from the driveway," he said. "They tell people where they can and cannot recycle and tell people where to go which improves traffic."
Towle said the town has also partnered with the state Department of Environmental Protection's Recycle Smart program that is a searchable database for recycling.
"It is essentially Google for recycling you can search, and item and it tells you exactly what to do with it," he said. 
He said the program is free and the department only asks that the town places the link on their web page.

Tags: NBSWD,   transfer station,   

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Adams Cemetery Commission Appoints Caretakers

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The Cemetery Commission appointed two residents to take care of two historic cemeteries.
The commission last week appointed residents Allen Mendel and Johanna Maxwell as the caretakers of Daniels Court Cemetery and Bowens Corner Cemetery. 
"It is an extension of a back yard," Commissioner Bruce Shepely said about Bowens Corner Cemetery. "It has historical implications that go back to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The latest burial is 1865."
The previous caretaker of Bowens Corner Cemetery can no longer maintain the East Road graveyard and abuttor Maxwell contacted the commission and said she would be interested.
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