Work continues on the new Williams Inn that's expected to open this summer.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" and Williamstown residents who have been screaming for the return of Lickety Split soon will have their wish.
Williams College this week is working to install a new home for the popular parlor at the corner of Spring Street and Walden Street, across from the Williams Bookstore and adjacent to the public parking lot.
Select Board member Jeffrey Thomas at Monday's meeting shared details he learned from the college's vice president for finance and administration.
"When it's all done, there will be a red and white awning with lattice work to hide the wheels, a deck with an ADA accessibility ramp, and they are purchasing tables with colorful and playful designs," Thomas said.
Town Manager Jason Hoch confirmed that the latest — and hopefully final — home for Lickety Split is planned to be kept on wheels so it can be moved off-site in the winter. Hoch said the building, designed by the college and "parked" on college property at the corner, was built by B&B Micro Manufacturing of North Adams.
It's an addition to the Spring Street landscape that may take some of the sting out of the latest — and final — planned road closure related to the college's construction of a new Williams Inn.
Hoch relayed a message shared by Williams with the college community last week notifying that Spring Street south of the Walden Street intersection and Latham Street west of the Towne Field House parking lot will be closed to through traffic from Monday, April 1, through early June.
"This is the last pain point of that [construction project]," Hoch said, referring to the closures that accompanied the installation of a new underground culvert to carry Christmas Brook east into the Green River.
The closure will allow the final connections of a revamped stormwater system the college funded and the creation of a park-like plaza where the former home of the American Legion sits at the bottom of Spring Street.
The former Legion hall has been used as a construction headquarters during the inn project; the inn is projected to open this summer.
The inn's opening is one of the new offerings on Spring Street this summer. Another, temporary change will be the creation of a short-term gallery and shop for the Williams College Museum of Art, which will occupy the space at 76 Spring St. formerly used by Lickety Split.
WCMA Summer Space on Spring Street will provide the museum with a temporary presence while its Main Street (Route 2) location is closed for renovation from June 3 through Sept. 6.
"While we will miss being in beautiful Lawrence Hall for the summer, having a gallery right on Spring Street will let us continue to reach visitors and residents alike and share what WCMA has to offer," WCMA Director Pamela Franks said in a Monday news release.
The temporary and permanent changes to the town's Village Business District were discussed at the end of a relatively brief meeting of the Select Board, which had just three of its five members in attendance.
The board took no action, except on routine matters, but Thomas took the opportunity to take off the table one item that he had proposed this winter.
Thomas had suggested that the Select Board consider sending to May's town meeting a proposal to temporarily limit the number of retail marijuana operations in town to two.
On Monday, he and colleagues Anne O'Connor and Andy Hogeland agreed there was no groundswell of support in the community for such a warrant article.
"No one has reached out to me," Thomas said. "[The proposal] made it into iBerkshires, and there was a single comment on that. It seems like there's not a lot of interest in the community at this time.
"Given that, there's really no need to pursue it further."
Hogeland, who had spoken against the idea at an earlier meeting, thanked Thomas for generating the discussion.
"It's OK to propose ideas that don't go forward," Hogeland said. "I may do the same thing. I have done the same thing."
Hoch, who also advised against a temporary ban, suggesting the market would determine the appropriate number of retail cannabis establishments in town, said Monday that he thinks it could be an idea the town should consider someday — just not now.
"One of the observations at the last meeting was ... we do limit tobacco sales and liquor sales to seven," Hoch said. "The likelihood of us getting to seven on [marijuana] is minimal. That said, if we get close to that ... if we happen to get a sudden surge in numbers, it's reasonable for us to think about that upper limit."
At its next scheduled meeting on April 8, the Select Board is slated to consider the articles that will be on the town meeting warrant, including all the financial articles.
Monday's meeting began on a sad note as O'Connor marked the passing of longtime town volunteer Leigh Short, who died last week after 14 years on the Zoning Board of Appeals and three years on the town's Affordable Housing Committee, from 2013 to 2015.
"We're grateful for his voice and his presence," O'Connor said. "He was very knowledgeable and even-tempered, a measured member of our town committees."
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