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The Finance Committee fell one short of a unanimous vote to purchase the used vacuum truck.

Adams Finance Committee Approves Reserve Fund Transfer

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Finance Committee approved a $40,000 reserve fund transfer to purchase a used Vacuum truck.
The vote on Thursday will allow the town to buy the truck as backup for the current vehicle and help the town meet MS4 stormwater management requirements.  
"It is in good condition and is definitely something with the recent storms that have had come through our community needs," Selectman Chairman John Duval said. "This truck will definitely help us along. This is a good investment and we need to have this truck available."
The purchase of the 2001 model truck from CN Wood of Whatley will replace the town's aging 2005 vacuum truck.
The main issue with the current truck is it has a leaking debris tank that means it can't completely service the town. Because the truck is obsolete, a new tank might have to be manufactured.
And new truck would cost upwards of $300,000.
Department of Public Works Superintendent Tim Cota said although the new truck is older, it is larger, in better condition, and more powerful.
"The debris tank is almost twice the size of what we currently have and the hose size is a whole inch," he said. "I know we are not in production but time is money. This is more powerful and can take care of business."
Members of both the select board and the Finance Committee inspected the truck along with the DPW's chief mechanic. Interim Town Administrator Donna Cesan said all agreed the truck was a bargain.
Cesan added that the truck will be needed to regularly clean out the town's catch basins. Although the town does this now it all has to be written in a plan and recorded under the federal municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) program.
"We will have to report to them annually the system of removing material from all of our catch basins across the town. We have to not only report the numbers but the volume of material that we removed," she said. "We have some formidable challenges so we need the proper equipment."
The lone vote against the transfer was committee member Craig Corrigan who preferred that the town look at fixing up the truck it has instead of owning two.
"I would hate to see us buy a $40,000 truck and have two of them that we don't need but I wouldn't be opposed to spending $90,000 for a body to go on our chassis," he said. "If that $90,000 could get us 15 years that is money well spent."
Cesan explained the broad repair price range of $25,000 to $90,000 and said a full reproduction of the tank may not be the only option.
She said this would be in the fiscal 2020 budget if the town decides to forward with the repair.
Cota added that if they decide to go through with the repair, the truck could be out for months. He said it would cost nearly $10,000 a month to rent a truck that will be needed throughout the winter to clean sewer lines.
Corrigan said he thought the town could shop around for a better price or even borrow a truck from a surrounding community.
Cota said borrowing a truck may not be a good option.
Cesan added that the town would have a use for both of the trucks and one could solely clean out catch basins while the other cleans sewer lines.
Cota added that the current truck is just not powerful enough to handle some scenarios.  
The Selectmen approved the transfer before Christmas but a subsequent vote from the Finance Committee was needed for final passage.
The town has near $175,000 in the reserve fund account.  

Tags: DPW equipment,   Finance Committee,   reserves,   

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Adams Town Meeting Approve All Articles on 2019 Warrant

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Longtime town meeting members were recognized for their service, including Starr Baker who has been a member for 50 years. 
ADAMS, Mass. — Town meeting approved all 30 articles on the annual warrant, including the fiscal 2020 budget of $15.8 million. 
It was a pretty straightforward meeting Monday night with much of the articles passing in bulk. Before running through the warrant, Town Clerk Haley Meczywor thanked town meeting members present and past.
"This town report is dedicated to all of you sitting in the center of the auditorium," she said. "Your service to the town is remarkable and without your commitment and dedication the town of Adams cannot function .. .you are the voice of Adams."
Adams has a representative form of government in which 150 town meeting members are elected by precinct to weigh the community's decisions. 
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