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Adams, Cheshire Anticipate Paving Schedule for Ashuwillticook Trail

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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. 

Tags: Ashuwillticook Rail Trail,   MassDOT,   paving,   

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United Counseling Service Wins Wellness Award

BENNINGTON, Vt. — United Counseling Service is a winner of the 2024 Vermont Governor's Excellence in Worksite Wellness Gold Level Award, presented by the Vermont Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health. 
 
This award is presented each year to organizations across the state that make employee wellness a priority.
 
The UCS Worksite Wellness Committee engaged staff in several worksite wellness initiatives this year, including a Community Supported Agriculture program in partnership with Full Well Farm in Adams, Mass., chair massages for staff, a potluck soup event for staff, quarterly lunches at rotating office locations, and facilitating ergonomic updates for workspaces following recent ergonomic assessments.
 
"We are honored to receive the Excellence in Worksite Wellness Gold Level Award," said Amy Fela, director of operations and co-chair of the Wellness Committee. "This achievement highlights our ongoing dedication to creating a supportive and healthy work environment."
 
UCS is a private, non-profit community mental health center that has been a part of Bennington County's integrated health-care system since 1958. The organization has been designated as a Center of Excellence by Vermont Care Partners.
 
Learn more about the Department of Health's Worksite Wellness Awards here. Learn more about United Counseling Service here.
 
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