NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It's beginning to look a lot like the holiday season with the installation of the city two Christmas trees on Main Street.
The Highway Department traveled to Pownal, Vt., on Thursday morning to take down a 30-foot fir donated by the Pownal Fire Department. The tree stood for many years in front of the station on Route 346 and was lighted for the holidays. The department decided to have it removed because it was impeding the sight lines of drivers trying to exit the station and the adjacent post office.
"A smaller tree will replace the large tree this spring and set farther back from the road," the Pownal Fire Department posted on its Facebook page.
The tree arrived with a police escort to Monument Square with some lights already in place. It was trimmed by Lonny Cimonetti, who will be retiring next year, and hoisted into place with a crane from Atlantis Corp. of Stephentown, N.Y. Personnel from the Department of Public Works and Wire & Alarm stabilized in place in front of the Civil War Monument.
The city also thanks the Fire and Police departments, National Grid, Arbortech Tree Co. and Moresi & Associates for their assistance.
Around noon, the second tree was placed in Dr. Rosenthal Square at the bottom of West Main Street. This one came from Glen Avenue and was donated by sisters Dawn Hinkell, Missy Ranzoni and Donna Randall, in memory of their mother, Sandra Bryant, who died in 2015.
This is the third tree the family has donated to the city's annual tree lighting. Their grandparents, Harold and Mary Bryant, donated the first one, then replanted a tree that was later donated by Sandra Bryant. The family replanted a tree following that donation, which is the tree now standing for this year's lighting. Once again the family will replant a tree in the spring for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There are nine grandchildren (one passed away in 2013) and eight great-grandchildren.
Over the next week or so, the trees will be decorated for the annual tree-lighting ceremony that will be held on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 27, at 6 p.m. Santa will arrive that evening on the Fire Department's vintage fire engine and there will be carols and hot cocoa. Santa will bring goody bags for the first 500 children.
The Downtown Bike Around will join the procession down Main Street with bikes decorated in lights and community members are invited join the group starting at 5:15 p.m. from the Peebles parking lot. Riders are encouraged to decorate their bikes and themselves with lights, glow sticks, and festive attire.
The rain date for this event will be Friday, Dec. 6, at the same time.
Then the "Festival of Lights" continues with the celebration of the beginning Hanukkah on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 22, with the lighting of the city menorah, also at Dr. Rosenthal Square.
The North Adams Office of Tourism thanks Berkshire Bank, Cascade School Supplies, the First Baptist Church, the Drury High School Band, MountainOne, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art for their help and sponsorship of this event.
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State Income Tax to Drop for Sixth Time This Decade
BOSTON — Massachusetts residents are getting some income tax relief in the new year with individual rate dropping to its lowest in years thanks to a state law passed nearly two decades ago.
Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday said the state's Part B individual income tax rate will be reduced from 5.05 percent to 5 percent effective Jan. 1, 2020. This upcoming tax cut represents the conclusion of the statutory process laid out in a 2002 state law to lower the income tax rate to 5 percent based on certain state revenue milestones, and will return $88 million in fiscal 2020 and approximately $185 million in fiscal 2021 to taxpayers.
"Starting in January, the income tax rate will be the lowest it has been in decades, allowing Massachusetts taxpayers to be able to keep more of their hard-earned money," said Baker in a statement. "Our administration is working to keep the commonwealth's economy strong while maintaining fiscal discipline and now we are finally making happen what voters called for almost 20 years ago."
The 2002 law provides that for each tax year in which certain inflation-adjusted baseline revenue growth requirements are met, the income tax rate will be reduced by increments of 0.05 percentage points until the rate reaches 5 percent. The legislation replaced a tax rate reduction schedule that had passed by ballot initiative in November 2000.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority Board of Directors voted at its meeting on Wednesday to invite the North Adams Public Schools into the first step of the school building process.
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The Planning Board on Monday approved Moresi Commercial Investments' request Monday for a change of use to operate mixed occupancy of commercial and residential use in an I-2 zone at 26 Union St.
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There can be several pages involved, particularly at the beginning and end of the school year as grant funded positions are listed, new hires and retirements are posted and non-permanent jobs like coaches and after-school staff are added.
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