ADAMS, Mass. — The Conservation Commission is supporting a proposed Lime Street solar project but continued the hearing to a later date so the company could provide more information about a culvert.
"I think this is fantastic and I have no problem," Commissioner Thomas Robinson said at the Jan. 17 public hearing. "Fine no problems."
Jon Spicer of Stantec engineering firm spoke on behalf of OYA Solar MA LP, a Toronto-based solar developer that wants to install a ground-mounted solar array at 0 Lime St. on land owned by David Krutiak.
The 9.7-acre parcel is located on the so-called Lime Street connector that parallels the rail line and connects to Route 8.
Spicer said under the federal Wetlands Protection Act, the project is considered a redevelopment because the 3.3 acres to be developed is already degraded.
"Most of which today is degraded exposed soil and gravel. Pretty poor condition overall," Spicer said. "In really simple terms, what the developer will do is come in here and scarify the existing degraded area. They will bring in topsoil, loam, and a native seed mix."
Spicer said anything beyond that section will not be touched because the land is bordered by the Hoosic River, a perennial stream, a floodplain, a vegetative wetland, and a Natural Heritage mapped-out area containing rare species.
"We have agreed to hold and not disturb anything beyond this line," Spicer said. "We are not proposing any alteration to trees or tree canopies."
He said one small concrete pad will be poured for the solar generation equipment. The panels themselves will be placed on decking that will be fastened to the ground.
"They don't have concrete foundations they have more of a threaded screw on the end," Spicer said. "They can be mechanically screwed into the earth for easy installation and easy decommissioning at the end of the 25 years life span."
The panels will be less than 15 feet high and there will be a security fence around the facility.
William Lattrell, an ecologist and wetlands scientist who often helps the commission, was also present at the meeting and said he really had no concerns about the project.
He did note that there was an illegally installed culvert from the 1990s that would need to be removed.
"The sensible thing to do in my opinion is to remove that culvert and restore that area and bring back the natural flow of the brook," he said. "It resolves the issue of something being put in place without a permit."
He said this was a last-minute finding and Stantec was unable to include plans to remove the culvert. Lattrell recommended that the commission continue the hearing until the plans are complete.
The commissioners unanimously made this decision and agreed to support the project. Once they see the removal plan, they said there is no reason to not approve it.
"We certainly can go on record and say we support this project if you bring us proper culvert removal plans," Commission member David Lipinski said. "We are not going to hold this project up."
Chairman James Fassell said there have been violations on the land in the past and the array would certainly be an improvement.
"It will decrease our grief because we have had grief over that property for years and it is not beautiful land," Fassell said.
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ADAMS, Mass. — The town has received six bids for the Town Common renovation project.
H.M. Nunes & Sons Construction, of Ludlow, came in with the lowest base bid of $296,132.50 and J.H. Maxymillian had the highest bid of $513,474.
The town decided to go forward with this project in conjunction with the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration and Susan B. Anthony's 200th birthday. This yearlong celebration was planned for 2020 but things have not gone as planned with a pandemic in full swing.
Plans include the installation of a bronze statue of Susan B. Anthony, an Adams native. A fund drive held over the past year is paying for the statue, and will support the celebration of Anthony, which was to be held in conjunction this year with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that assured women the right to vote.
Late last year, 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 products.
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The past few weeks have seen on-site retail sales return and patio seating reopen, followed by a socially distanced form of inside dining for restaurants.
Wednesday night the board, with guidance from Code Enforcement Officer Mark Blaisdell, took the necessary steps to reopen parks and open... click for more
Just like its partner in the Hoosac Valley Regional School District, Cheshire, and the school district itself, Adams will wait for definitive state aid numbers from Boston before approving a hard budget. The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned wide speculation of revenue shortfalls in the commonwealth.... click for more