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Adams will be moving ahead with the renovation of Russell Field.

Adams Secures Funds For Russell Field Renovation

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The town has received the full Community Development Block Grant amount to revamp Russell Field.
 
Selectmen Chairwoman Christine Hoyt announced at the end of Wednesday's meeting that the town has received the full $800,000 grant of which more than half will be used to overhaul Russell Field.
 
"That was good news that we received that and this will be moving forward," Hoyt said.
 
The playing field renovation has been an ongoing project for at least the past five years that has consistently been on the Parks Commission's list of priorities. 
 
In 2018, the project received a kick forward when coaches and parents expressed their concerns about the condition of the field that they felt was a danger to the players. 
 
Since then the project has been in design and in February the Selectmen greenlit the project for the CDBG program. 
 
Upgrades include better drainage and playing field improvements. Handicapped accessibility and pedestrian access will also be improved.
 
More substantial changes include moving the infield itself to make more room. The playground will be upgraded and they will add adult fitness equipment. Tennis courts will be resurfaced and there will be the addition of a pickleball court. 
 
Town staff estimate that the park renovation will cost nearly $460,000.
 
The rest of the grant will be used for housing rehabilitation and program delivery. 
 
In other business, the town can officially begin its search for a new Board of Health member. 
 
Longtime member Bruce Shepley resigned from the board and the Selectmen could not appoint a replacement until they officially received a letter from the Board of Health requesting that the seat be filled. 
 
Hoyt said anyone interested in the position can send a letter of interest to the town administrator's office. All letters are due by the end of this week.
 
Hoyt said the Board of Health and Aelectmen will hold a joint meeting Sept. 4 to review letters of interest. Both boards will vote on the appointment.
 
The term would only run until the May election.
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Adams Selectmen See Different Tax Rate Scenarios

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — If the town sticks with a split tax rate at the same shift as this year, residents could be looking at a 49 cent increase over this year’s rate.
 
Assessor Donna MacDonald went over possible tax rate scenarios for fiscal 2020 at the Selectmen's workshop on Wednesday. The board will vote on the tax classifications next week.
 
MacDonald said the total amount to be raised for the fiscal 2020 budget is $16,083,959. Subtracting estimated receipts of $5,054,868 brings this amount to $11,029,090. Debt exclusion has been pulled out of this number.
 
Dividing this by the total valuation of $516,763,257 sets a single tax rate of $22.60. Last year’s single tax rate would have been $22.08.
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