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North Adams Airport to Approve RFP Next Month

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Airport Commission expects to approve a request for proposals for the terminal restaurant in the next month.
Although the commissioners had no substantial changes to the draft RFP on Tuesday, they agreed to sit on it for another month.
"We would like to have it ready at next month's meeting so we can get it out the door," Chairman Jeffrey Naughton said.
The vacant medical building donated to the city by Berkshire Health Systems was moved farther back onto the airport campus and is currently being renovated to serve as Harriman & West Airport's administrative building. 
Along with housing airport offices, the space will also accommodate a restaurant.
The commission reviewed an RFP used by Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport to solicit interest in an eatery there. The commissioners only pointed out some typos and noted that the North Adams draft still referred to Westfield.
Naughton said this would all be corrected in subsequent drafts.
"Before this goes out the door they will scrub it to make sure it is the way it is supposed to be," he said.
In other business, Peter Enzien of Stantec Consulting Services updated the committee on the terminal renovation project and said the contractor has asked for a time extension.
"This was expected," he said. 
An unforeseen issue with the building's insulation delayed the construction and what was due to be completed earlier this month will now be pushed to the end of September.
Enzien said this does not increase the cost of the project.
Despite the delay, the project is moving along and much of the interior work is nearing completion.
"They are making good progress," he said.
He said ceiling work has been installed as well as lighting. Interior doors are on site and will soon be installed. The final coat of paint should be applied at the end of the week.
Outside, the siding is 90 percent complete and the electrician has been on site and is preparing to install exterior lighting.
An outdoor patio is complete and paving should begin soon.
Before closing, the commission heard from brothers David and Winthrop Chenail whose property borders the airport. The two had concerns and input about the proposed bike path that will go through the airport campus. 
David Chenail had concerns about the proposed fencing where it borders his property and asked that it be moved as close to the runway as possible. He said he wanted the area to be as open as possible and was wary of the idea of a tall two-sided chain link fence. 
"If someone would just look at it it is one of the most beautiful spots in North Adams," he said.
Administrative Officer Michael Canales said the project is a ways off but it is unlikely a garish, tall, chain-link fence would be installed. He did say the Federal Aviation Administration would have the ultimate say in where the fencing could be placed.
Winthrop Chenail had concerns with his right of way and asked that four gates be installed on his property on the south side of the airport so he has ample access to his cornfields.
Enzien said work on this fence wouldn't begin in earnest until 2020 and that it would still have to go through a design phase. He took the Chenails' numbers and said this input will be valuable during this time.
"It is nice to know this in advance because there are some decisions we will have to make," he said. 
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North Adams Council OKs July Spending, Debates City Hall Job

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday during a special meeting approved a nearly $4 million budget for July that includes $1.5 million for the School Department. 
The $3,831,954 continuing appropriation is the first as the city shifts to a month-by-month financial plan until the Legislature can pass a fiscal 2021 budget. 
The appropriation was adopted 7-2, with Councilors Marie T. Harpin and Robert Moulton Jr. voting against after a debate over a City Hall employee. 
The Finance Committee last week voted to recommend a so-called 1/12th budget based on information from the state Division of Local Services, which advised municipalities that they can could count on level funding for education and unrestricted government aid for at least July and August. This monthly budget can be done for up to three months. 
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