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The town of Adams has installed signs along the rail trail to warn users to clean up after their pets.

Signage, Public Awareness Means Less Dog Waste in Adams

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health credits public pressure to keep the town's byways clean with a reduction in reports of annoying dog waste.
 
Board of Health member Bruce Shepley said with new signage on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail and public awareness there seems to be fewer dog feces on the trail.
 
"I haven't heard any complaints and I haven't seen anything on social media," he said Wednesday. "The trail looks pristine."
 
During the winter thaw, a group of residents fed up with the amount of dog poop on the rail trail and throughout town attended a Board of Health meeting to complain. This sparked more agitation among residents and on social media causing the town to take some action.  
 
Selectman James Bush attended the meeting and said the town has installed signs on the trail encouraging people to clean up after their animals. He added that the new parking meter reader /animal control officer position will add a new level of enforcement.
 
Bush went on to say the town also plans to place trash barrels along the trail but with smaller openings that would allow people to throw away dog poop bags but not household garbage.
 
Shepley thought the public's interest in keeping the town clean was one of the main forces behind the improved conditions. 
 
"We are making progress and I know this will be an ongoing issue but with the awareness and the citizens that came forward this continues to be addressed favorably," he said. "We have a plan in place."
 
The board also met with Linda Cernik, program director of the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District to discuss brush collection at the transfer station.
 
"We have to clean up that mess we have there now," Bush said. 
 
Historically the town has collected brush at the transfer station however the pile has grown to a point where it will cost near $15,000 to hire someone to do the chipping.
 
"We haven't addressed it directly and we have to do it but everything has a price," Shepley said. "The bottom line is economics and many other towns have stopped accepting brush and if we can't afford it, we may have to stop."
 
The service has been free but the town has considered eliminating it because of the cost. The town suspects landscapers have been taking advantage of the service.
 
The board discussed possibly partnering with a private contractor to do the chipping. 
 
"If it is chipped and taken away it can be repurposed," Cernik said.
 
The board agreed to reach out to Town Administrator Jay Green to see if this is a possibility. 
 
In other business, the board agreed to strike some continuing items from its agendas and will no longer consider implementing a dumpster fee.
 
"I would like to table this indefinitely ... we are not doing anything to draw people into the community and I don't think imposing another fee would help," Shepley said. 
 
The concept came up when the board discussed updating the fee schedule. 
 
After some research, Shepley sound that although some communities have this permit fee, it is not widely practiced.
 
Over the past few months the board also discussed scrappers registering with the town much like trash haulers but it was found that this was not widely practiced either.  
 
"I think we should put this to rest because there are already mechanisms in place and I am not sure if we want to create a registry of those who scrap," Shepley said.
 
He said there are already regulations that put the notice on scrap yards. He said they have to record who unloads scrap and what they bring in.
 
He said if the town were to get involved somehow they would have to way to enforce any of this.

Tags: board of health,   dogs,   poop,   

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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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