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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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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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