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Adams to Install Informational History Signs

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Mock up of a historical sign made several years ago.
ADAMS, Mass. — Signs urging visitors to "Explore Adams History" will be installed throughout town.
Before going into the workshop agenda Wednesday, Town Administrator Jay Green said he had a discussion with members of the Historical Society and ProAdams about installing signs pointing to destinations and town history.
"It is a great idea to bring attention to our history and town attractions and it is something that can be expanded on," Green said. "I think this is a great goodwill item and we will get it through."
Former Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco brought the idea forth some years ago and went as far as to have mock signs made.
Green said there will be four to five permanent double-sided signs mostly installed on public property. Possible locations include in front of Town Hall, the train station, the Visitors Center, and one by St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, which is not town property. 
He said the signs would have images, maps, descriptions and QR codes that could be scanned with a mobile device to unlock more information.
"It will actually give a little narration of what the relevant item is … you can walk up and learn about it," Green said. 
Green said joint effort between the Historical Society and ProAdams is already underway and they secured some grant funding from the William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire & Savoy.
"They have solidified their plans they are pretty well on their way with funding," Green said. "They are going to move forward with this with town support with the permitting process, etc."
In other business, the board discussed a veterans tax work-off program that would allow eligible veterans to take up tasks in town in exchange for credits toward their property taxes. 
Green said the program almost mirrors the town's senior tax workoff program but instead of having to be 60 or older, veterans have to provide their discharge paperwork.
He said an individual would not be able to enroll in both programs at the same time.
Candidates would have to own and occupy property in town. They also have to be current with property tax payments, pass a criminal background check, and have employable skills.
Only one tax credit per family per calendar year will be allowed. Candidates will accumulate $12 per hour up to $990. Service also maxes out at 82.5 hours. 
Green said this amount does go toward income for purposes of federal taxes and those who are involved will receive a W-2 form. He would sit down with candidates and try to find a good fit in town for them.
"I would bring them in and have a conversation with them to see what you are interested in, what skills they have, and what would be a good fit," Green said. "We would see what kind of match we could find based on the town’s needs and their interests."
Green said his immediate thought was using these individuals to augment the Department of Public Works.
Selectman John Duval asked how many candidates Green anticipated. Duval was concerned that with the senior tax work-off candidates, the programs could cause issues in the budget.
Green said he anticipates two to three people to come forward and noted that limits could always be set on the number the town accepts.
He was unsure if the program had to go before town meeting and would provide this information at a future meeting.

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Officer William Evans Laid to Rest in Adams

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans was brought to his final resting place Thursday afternoon after the Northern Berkshire community paid their final respects.
Evans' funeral Mass was held at noon at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church and officiated by Bishop William D. Byrne of the Springfield Diocese. Byrne had previously been pastor at St. Peter's Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The funeral was private with family and friends, and a long list of public officials including Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. Richie Neal, state Sen. Adam Hinds, state Reps. John Barrett III and William "Smitty" Pignatelli, North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard and City Councilors Lisa Blackmer and Jason Laforest and Adams officials.
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