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, Mass. — The director of public works job will remain vacant for at least another week as the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday decided to ask two of the candidates back for another round of interviews.
The position has been unfilled for the better part of two years after David Nuvaille retired in 2017 2018.
Town Administrator Jay Green feels the time without a director might have given the town the chance to re-evaluate how the position is defined and what the town is looking for.
"Without a DPW director, we have been functioning and getting the essentials done. I don't want to hire someone just for the sake of filling the position," he said. "We are working with a very reactive mindset right now though. A pothole pops up we fill it. A structure we hear is falling apart we fix it. We haven't had the capacity or the skill set with someone who can look ahead. We need to introduce someone into the mix who can say, 'Let's look at next year and year two.' Let the operations supervisor run the day to day. That's been going well."
After last week's lengthy interviews of three finalists, it became apparent that the board on Tuesday could not come to consensus on one but was splitting in favor two of the finalists: Paul Markland and Robert Tober.
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The late Adams fire chief decided to throw a turkey dinner for any senior citizen able to show up on the first Wednesday in December. All the fixings, no charge, no questions asked. All run by himself and his fellow firefighters.
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