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The Cemetery Commission appointed caretakers for both Daniels Court and Bowens Corner.

Adams Cemetery Commission Appoints Caretakers

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Cemetery Commission appointed two residents to take care of two historic cemeteries.
The commission last week appointed residents Allen Mendel and Johanna Maxwell as the caretakers of Daniels Court Cemetery and Bowens Corner Cemetery. 
"It is an extension of a back yard," Commissioner Bruce Shepely said about Bowens Corner Cemetery. "It has historical implications that go back to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The latest burial is 1865."
The previous caretaker of Bowens Corner Cemetery can no longer maintain the East Road graveyard and abuttor Maxwell contacted the commission and said she would be interested.
"She is doing a great job up there it looks good," Shepley said. "She has a high interest in the historical piece and she is excited to contribute."
Shepley added that Maxwell said she was interested in installing a small stone walkway leading into the cemetery.
This status comes with a $100 annual stipend from the veterans account and the commission also voted to permit Mendel to do the same job at Daniels Court.
Mendel has taken care of the Daniels Court Cemetery for years and although he has received the stipend, he was never officially voted in as the caretaker. 
"It was never officially appointed and Allen said it was overgrown when they bought the property and they knew it was there and he has been maintaining it over the years," he said. 
On a side note, Shepley said he wanted to research what the exact protocol was when a cemetery becomes abandoned. 
"What happens when a cemetery becomes discontinued?" he asked. "There are plenty of cemeteries scattered throughout New England that are overgrown, on private property, or in the woods."
In other business, the commission addressed a broken water spigot in the old section of Bellevue Cemetery and Shepley said the Department of Public Works does not intend to fix it. 
"That pipe is disconnected underneath. It is not a case of just hooking it up so I talked to DPW and they do not have the funding to replace it," he said.
Shepley said work would include digging up the road and it is not a priority town project.
"Maybe there is funding elsewhere but I think as a priority for the town it certainly does not fall high on the list," he said. "We need roads paved, there are collapsing manholes."
The issue was brought forth by a resident who felt it was unfair that a single large section of the cemetery did not have direct access to water.
Shepley did not have an update on the ongoing Bellevue Cemetery garage project but there is a prebid conference Thursday. 
"I have nothing and nothing has come forward to me," he said.
The town plans to refurbish an existing garage at Bellevue Cemetery to store and equipment, maintain equipment, and other department needs.

Tags: cemetery commission,   historic sites,   

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Adams Taps Three Finalists for Long-Vacant DPW Position

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
ADAMS, Mass. — Town officials are narrowing in on a new Department of Public Works director after going two years with an interim. 
Three candidates have been selected to be interviewed next Tuesday at a public meeting of the board.
Town Administrator Jay Green sees the hiring of the long vacant position as a huge opportunity. When Selectman Joseph Nowak asked him Wednesday about some long anticipated resurfacing work for the residents of Crotteau Street, Green took a big picture approach.
"A lot of the road construction work, or even the maintenance work, that normally would be run by the DPW got shifted to Community Development. They are doing a hell of a job trying to get these things through but we've been slowed down in our abilities by not having a DPW director," he said. "I'm hopeful that we get a reasonable hire and get the person up to speed. Day-to-day operations are being covered. I've had no concerns about day-to-day operations. It's the larger project management and getting things done like that (Crotteau Street project) that constituents have been very patient about that is my top goal."
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