ADAMS, Mass. — Officials in Adams and Cheshire are expecting an update this month on the schedule for repaving 11.2 miles of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.
The nearly 20-year-old portion of the trail runs from the Pittsfield/Lanesborough line to the Adams Visitor Center and was constructed in two phases completed in 2001 and 2004, respectively. A 1.2-mile extension that goes from Hoosac Street to Lime Street in Adams was completed in 2017 and is not part of this update.
This will be the first total resurfacing of the popular bike and walking path since its initial completion. The project will be done in two phases with the first from April to July and the second immediately after and ending in October in 2020. Which half gets done in which phase is still undecided.
Cheshire is hoping to be included in the first phase, Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV told the Cheshire Board of Selectmen recently. He feels starting in the summer would have a deleterious impact on the town financially.
"There's not really a good time to do this as it's going to have a major impact on everything. I did say to the folks at DOT ... if it's July to October it's a busy season for us because we have the lake that goes along a lot of it. A lot of users go along the lake, businesses on the lake, restaurant, Whitney's Farm. There's a lot of impact that would happen during the summer if that portion of the rail trail was closed," he said. "Obviously my concern is how this is going to affect Cheshire but there's also the realization that this is going to impact Adams as well."
St. John met with the the state Departments of Transportation and of Conservation and Recreation regarding the $3.4 million repaving.
Selectmen Jason Levesque thought the earlier snowmelt along the trail in Cheshire might be a factor in which half gets closed for resurfacing first.
In Adams, Town Administrator Jay Green thinks it's likely the town will get the summer phase of the resurfacing project.
"Phase two is going to come from Church Street (in Cheshire) north and end at the Visitors Center. That work, as of now, is anticipated to take place from [July to October] of 2020. That may very well change but as of right now that is what Mass DOT anticipates," he told the Adams Board of Selectmen last month. "The contract has been awarded to Maxymillian. We anticipate to schedule a meeting sometime in December and we hope to have more information at that time."
Funding for the project is from the Transportation Improvement Program for the Berkshire Metropolitan Planning Commission. It has been in the planning stages for about four years and is currently going through the permitting process and will be before the Adams Conservation Commission on Thursday.
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Adams Decides Month-by-Month Budget Going Into Fiscal 2021
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
Chairwoman Christine Hoyt says the board is looking to assist restaurant owners with Phase II of Governor Baker's reopening plan.
ADAMS, Mass. — Town Administrator Jay Green and the Board of Selectmen have decided to go the 1/12th budget route for at least the start of fiscal year 2021.
Municipalities across the commonwealth are struggling to not only finalize budgets because of an uncertain financial outlook brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to find a way to physically hold annual town meetings to get those budgets approved. Both situations factored into the decision for the town to settle on the 1/12th option.
When a town can't finalize a budget before the state mandated June 30 deadline, they must revert back to the prior year's budget and operate on a month-to-month basis. Monthly budgets must be approved by the Selectmen and then forwarded to the state Department of Revenue for its approval. Once that is received, the town can begin to pay its expenses for that month only.
Green and the board had been wavering between trying to predict revenue shortfalls for a reduced budget, forging ahead with original revenue projections, or using the 1/12th option.
Director of Community Development Donna Cesan said the town has decided to terminate the proposal process for the Memorial Building redevelopment with the hopes of reissuing the RFP again in September.
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