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Town officials are proposing to list the renovation of Russell Field on its annual Community Development Block Grant application.

Adams Seeks Funds For Russell Field Renovation

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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A public informational meeting for the Russell Field Renovation Project set for Feb. 12 has been rescheduled to Monday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m.
ADAMS, Mass. — Russell Field is being eyed for the town's fiscal 2019 Community Development Block Grant application. 
Town officials will hold a public hearing next week to go over possible projects to contain in the annual CDBG application and, this year, the Community Development Office will propose including the long-discussed Russell Field renovation project.
"As you know, it is a highly-used facility," Donna Cesan, community development director and interim town administrator, said on Monday. "If we can demonstrate a strong level of community support and document the critical need there is for the park renovations, I believe we will have a solid application and a good chance at funding the project."
Russell Field has been on the Parks Commission's agenda for at least five years now and its condition has been a concern among coaches who believe it to be a danger to their players.
The project has since been in a design phase, which was nearing its end in 2018. 
"The project has been around for a while but I believe that was necessary and important to fully understand the needs at the park and what elements were absolute priorities," Cesan said.   
The project would include drainage and playing field improvements as well as handicapped accessibility, enhanced pedestrian access, and other exterior improvements.
The town can apply for up to $800,000 total and Cesan expects the project will cost between $430,000 and $480,000.
She said the town may also look into applying for Green Community funds to retrofit the field lights and may solicit the help of McCann Technical School students to help renovate the field's building.
The town could also look toward the budget or ask town meeting for potential funding.
In the interim, officials have tried to address some of the maintenance concerns at the field such as flooding and the compromised backstop. 
Cesan said the town would continue to do this if it cannot capture funding.
"If we are not successful this year, I expect we would apply again," she said. "And yes, we would likely have DPW to additional in-kind work and make other minor improvements as stop-gap measures."
The town cannot receive more than $1.35 million in two successive years from the grant. In 2017, it received the full $800,000, most of which toward the revamping of the parking lot at the Visitors Center; in 2018, the application for about a half-million was largely toward improvements at the Memorial School. 
The application will also include housing rehabilitation money to make improvements to six to eight low- to moderate-income housing units. 
The public hearing will take place Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 7:10 at Town Hall.

Tags: CDBG,   parks & rec,   public parks,   sports fields,   

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Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Mulls Possible Expansion

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
ADAMS, Mass. — The solid waste district is hoping for a decision from North Adams, and possibly Dalton, before considering service contracts.
The Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management Commission on Thursday discussed the bid process for servicing the district and, with the possibility of North Adams coming on board, Program Coordinator Linda Cernik wants to ensure they use every resource available.
"This is a very, very important bid coming up. There can't be any mistakes, any hiccups, nothing. With the possibility of North Adams joining the district, and maybe Dalton, we have to get this right," Cernik said. "We met with Williams College and the four students doing the study (about North Adams joining the district) and they are going to present to the City Council in December."
The possible inclusion of North Adams and Dalton would be especially convenient this year as both municipalities' solid waste contracts expire on June 30, the same date as the district's.
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