The tiny home builders with Attorney General Maura Healey during a tour of their products at the Windsor Mill in 2017.
ADAMS, Mass. — B&B Micro Manufacturing got its start in a garage on Old Columbia Street. Now its returning after a stint in North Adams to take over the Brown Packaging building and add at least 16 jobs.
The Board of Selectmen on Wednesday approved a seven-year tax-financing agreement that will help smooth the tiny house manufacturer's big expansion.
"The space is a great space, and we are blessed to have this come up," Jason Koperniak, a principal in the company, said. "We have been looking to upgrade our facility and expansion for a couple of years and it is not every day that this becomes available."
Koperniak and his partners Chris St. Cyr and Mitch Bresett are all graduates of Hoosac Valley High School. The three have been building high-quality tiny houses for several years out of the Windsor Mill in North Adams.
They've been looking for a place to expand and had bid on the city's former salt shed last year but the purchase had not gone through.
Instead, Koperniak said they plan to invest and make improvements to the facility at 201 Howland Ave.
"We would like to make some improvements including overhead doors for back access on the ground level," he said. "There are a lot of improvements inside we want to make to for safety purposes."
He said they are stretching themselves with the purchase of the facility, which is why they were asking for special tax assessment agreement with the town.
"We are extending ourselves early in our business and for stability to keep jobs and things sustainable for our company we would appreciate some assistance on the tax side," Koperniak said. "It will keep our numbers where we are now so we can grow into ourselves."
Selectmen Chairman John Duval outlined the tax agreement that would be part of the state's Economic Development Program. The property tax assessment will apply following the proposed renovation over the next seven years.
The tax exemption would include "all real estate taxes" and for years one and two would be at 100 percent; years three and fourth at 75 percent; year five at 50 percent; and years six and seven at 25 percent. The agreement begins in fiscal 2020 is made with 161 River Mill LLC, comprised of the B&B partnership, and the tiny home company.
The company will report annually on its progress and failure to abide by the terms will void the agreement.
The 3.6-acre property and building is assessed at $808,000, generating $20,543.52 in property taxes, and has been listed for sale for $660,000. The building dates to 1989 and has 24,000 square feet of warehouse space and 2,000 square feet of office space. The property is zoned industrial.
B&B currently has about 20 employees. It agrees to create at least 16 new full-time positions: eight in the first year and two each subsequent year of the agreement. It is also required to invest no less than $150,000 in capital improvements.
"There are a lot of positions that people in our community have been traveling great distances for," Koperniak said. "It is nice to be able to be five or seven minutes from your house and be in the trade industry."
The board unanimously approved the agreement and welcomed B&B into the community.
"It is nice to see young people getting out there and starting a business and being from Adams I know all of you and you come from great families," Selectman Joseph Nowak said. "I know you are hard working people and I welcome you wholeheartedly."
Duval added that the agreement still has to be reviewed by the state's Economic Assistance Coordinating Council and approved by town meeting.
The Selectmen also approved a Class 1 auto sales license for B&B because some of the tiny houses are on wheels.
"It allows us to sell new vehicles and we are in the business of building small and tiny homes," Koperniak said. "Some of our products come in the form of recreational vehicles ... like an Airstream."
He added that a dealer plate will make it easier for them to transport their creations. The company has also made the popular mobile "pocket park" that spends summers parked on Eagle Street in North Adams and recently completed a seasonal home for Lickety Split that is currently parked off Spring Street in Williamstown.
Note: updated to clarify terms of the agreement, which was added below at 1:30 p.m. on April 18, 2019.
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Suffrage Centennial Committee Kicks Off Yearlong Celebration
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
Cassandra Peltier as Alva Belmont Vanderbilt, a prominent figure in the suffrage movement.
ADAMS, Mass. — About 75 people filled The Manor on Saturday afternoon for the kickoff event of a yearlong celebration of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
The event at St. John Paul II Parish's Italianate mansion was organized by the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee. The committee serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Selectmen.
Anthony was born in Adams and was a social reformer best known for spearheading the women's suffrage movement. She was also involved in the anti-slavery movement, collecting signatures for petitions as a teen, the temperance (prohibition of alcohol) movement, and women's financial rights.
Retired school teacher Mary Whitman, committee member and host for the day, shared why Anthony's work was so important.
Only two candidates will be interviewed Thursday for the Adams Cheshire Regional School District superintendent position with candidate Martin McEvoy withdrawing his name from consideration. click for more
The Parks Commission on Monday took care of most of the fall requests for field usage. Four separate groups were represented and although a few issues cropped up, all requests were approved. click for more
Adams Conservation Commission praised the use of an organic herbicide on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.
At Thursday’s commission meeting members discussed the process that resulted in an organic herbicide being applied along the trail to knock down some overgrown vegetation. click for more