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The old City Yard on Ashland Street was purchased by the convenience store chain on June 30.

Cumberland Farms Closes on North Adams Property

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Plans for the new Cumberland Farms on Ashland Street finally appear to be moving forward with the closing on the old City Yard last month. 
 
The convenience store chain purchased the property at 227-245 Ashland St. on Friday, June 30.
 
Mayor Thomas Bernard had pushed for the Westborough-based convenience chain to close before the end of the fiscal year, rejecting the company's request for another extension on the purchase-and-sales agreement from October 2017. 
 
Cumberland had offered $575,000 — $100,000 more than the assessed value — with the caveat that up to half that could be offset for cleanup. The chain had been looking for a larger location close to the downtown for several years.
 
In the final deal, the property went for $550,000 with the agreement that Cumberland would pay upfront taxes on a listed price of $575,000, as recorded at the Registry of Deeds. Administrative Officer Michael Canales said there are cleanup costs but the entire amount is not yet known. 
 
The Ashland Street complex had been put to bid with five other properties in 2017 after the city bought the former anodizing plant at Hodges Cross Road to serve as the new City Yard. The former plant has been largely retrofitted to accommodate Highway, Cemetery, Building, and Parks and Recreation Departments and the animal shelter with room to spare. 
 
Cumberland Farms was approved for a 5,800-square-foot store and eight gas pumps last fall but returned to the Planning Board earlier this year with modified plans to reduce the building to around 4,600 square feet and by one parking spot. 
 
The original plans had been to start construction in the spring but is now expected sometime this summer. Two historic place markers on the buildings are set to be preserved and relocated to prominent locations in the new City Yard. 

Tags: city yard,   cumberland farms,   

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Sticking to Budget Can Boost Your Emergency Fund

Submitted by Edward Jones

During the coronavirus pandemic, our health concerns – for ourselves and our loved ones – have been at the top of our minds. But financial worries have been there, too, both for people whose employment has been affected and for investors anxious about the volatile financial markets. 

And one aspect of every individual's total financial picture has become quite clear – the importance of an emergency fund.

In normal times, it's a good idea for you to keep three to six months' worth of living expenses in a liquid, low-risk account. Having an emergency fund available can help you cope with those large, unexpected costs, such as a major car repair or a costly medical bill.

Furthermore, if you have an adequate emergency fund, you won't have to dip into your long-term investments to pay for short-term needs. These investment vehicles, such as your IRA and 401(k), are designed for your retirement, so the more you can leave them intact, the more assets you are likely to have when you retire. And because they are intended for your retirement, they typically come with disincentives, including taxes and penalties, if you do tap into them early. (However, as part of the economic stimulus legislation known as the CARES Act, individuals can now take up to $100,000 from their 401(k) plans and IRAs without paying the 10 percent penalty that typically applies to investors younger than 59 1/2. If you take this type of withdrawal, you have up to three years to pay the taxes and, if you want, replace the funds, beyond the usual caps on annual contributions.)

Of course, life is expensive, so it's not always easy to put away money in a fund that you aren't going to use for your normal cash flow. That’s why it's so important to establish a budget and stick to it. When developing such a budget, you may find ways to cut down on your spending, freeing up money that could be used to build your emergency fund.

There are different ways to establish a budget, but they all typically involve identifying your income and expenses and separating your needs and wants. You can find various online budgeting tools to help you get started, but, ultimately, it's up to you to make your budget work. Nonetheless, you may be pleasantly surprised at how painless it is to follow a budget. For example, if you have budgeted a certain amount for food each month, you will need to avoid going to the grocery store several times a week, just to pick up "a few things" – because it doesn't really take that many visits for those few things to add up to hundreds of dollars. You will be much better off limiting your trips to the grocery, making a list of the items you need and adhering to these lists. After doing this for a few months, see how much you have saved – it may be much more than you would expect. Besides using these savings to strengthen your emergency fund, you could also deploy them toward longer-term investments designed to help you reach other objectives, such as retirement.

Saving money is always a good idea, and when you use your savings to build an emergency fund, you can help yourself prepare for the unexpected and make progress toward your long-term goals.

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