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The Selectmen discuss transfer station operations at Wednesday's workshop meeting.

Adams Reviews Transfer Station Operations

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen are reviewing transfer station operations, which currently is operating at a deficiency. 
 
"We have a pretty substantial structural deficit and we need to look at methods such as cost control or fee increases," said Kevin Towle, executive assistant to the town administrator, said at Wednesday's workshop meeting. "I think we have to weigh the desire to provide a service while offsetting its cost."
 
Town Administrator Jay Green went over some projected numbers and explained that even with anticipated revenues, the town will be looking at deficit between $59,666 and $76,306 at the end of the fiscal year.
 
He did note that the town wants to provide the service and the only goal would be to work toward cost neutrality. He said the budget will be able to absorb the cost.  
 
"This deficit number does not mean we will have to make a budgetary transfer it is just what we have coming in form a revenue picture and what is going out," Green said. "The budget can cover this and it is just a matter of figuring out what we can do to make this pay for itself."
 
The Selectmen felt people were abusing the transfer station and that ultimately costs the town. Selectman Joseph Nowak said people use the transfer station without stickers and use larger bags than allowed.
 
Nowak noted that he did not blame the attendant because it is a lot to oversee for a single person but there is an enforcement issue.
 
Selectman John Duval agreed.
 
"We need enforcement and we need someone right there," he said. "Games are being played."
 
Treasurer Kelly Rice suggested having a police officer randomly visit the transfer station and Green said they could also look at a more official uniform for the attendant and pushing that the employee take more of a stance against abusers. 
 
Green said one option would be to only allow a certain number of vehicles in at a time so the attendant can oversee what is actually going on. He added this would most certainly cause traffic backups.  
 
A solution would be to hire a second person, but this would be too costly. 
 
Green did inform the Selectmen that they can expect another cost to remove brush that has been accumulating since 2017.
 
He said the state Department of Environmental Protection will not allow the town to burn the brush and composting is not an option. 
 
The only option is to chip and remove the material but the town does not have equipment large enough to accomplish this.
 
He said would have to pay $15,000 for a mobile chipper to visit town.
 
Green said he could see if North Adams would be interested in splitting the cost if the city has material to chip but this would still be expensive. 
 
Looking toward the future, Green said the town could look at limiting the window in which brush could be dropped off. He said they could also charge people but then the transfer station attendant would have to handle money and people may not accept another fee.
 
He said they could always stop accepting brush but Selectman James Bush did not think this would fly.
 
"I can't see doing that because last time that rumor got out the whole town was up in arms over it," he said.
 
Green said he would bring possible solutions to the board as well as possible fee increases at a future meeting. 

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Adams Selectmen Hear From Ale House Owner

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

Nate Girard explains his predicament to the Selectmen on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — Nate Girard and his longtime friend Erik Pizani decided to buy the Saint Stanislaus Kostka Hall in 2012. The property had a rich history in town and most people had memories of bowling, playing pitch, attending a wedding, or just sitting at an old red leather stool and enjoying a cheap beer.
 
The two partners, along with another investor, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing the structure up to code and restoring the bar and kitchen. The Adams Ale House was born. Both of them ran the restaurant, bought houses, had kids, went into real estate together, and celebrated the boom and even the bust times. 
 
Pizani eventually left the restaurant business and left Girard as the sole owner of the building. Girard decided to lease the restaurant space to focus solely on real estate and his young family. The new operators didn't last long in a tough restaurant market and went out of business in December 2018.
 
The building on East Hoosac Street has sat unused since then. Girard has it listed it on several sources and is still hopeful he can find a taker. The idle liquor license he still holds, however, has become an issue for the town.
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