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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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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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