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North Adams Making Second Try to Find Restaurant for Airport

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Airport Commission discusses the new terminal building. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city will reissue the Airport Administrative Building restaurant RFP in April.
Administrative Officer Michale Canales told the Airport Commission Tuesday that the city has rejected the lone response to the recently released RFP and will try again in the Spring.
"We did receive one application and due to the fact that it did not meet all of the technical requirements of the RFP we rejected it at that point," he said.
The city moved and renovated a former doctor's building on the airport campus to act as the new terminal and administrative building. The facility was renovated to house a restaurant overlooking the runway.
Canales said at the next meeting he hopes the commission could take another look at the RFP and maybe make some changes.
"We can look at the requirements and figure out what we should take out and maybe open up a little bit," he said. "...We can simplify some things and hopefully gain some more interest."
Airport user Michael Milazzo suggested that the adhoc Fixed Base Operator RFP committee also take a look at the restaurant RFP
"They are in the same building so why not look at both," he said. "I think you could get a couple different perspectives from people who have been in the restaurant business."
Canales said because of procurement law the two RFPs have to stay quite separate but more input is always welcome. 
Peter Enzien of Stantec said beyond the restaurant space, they now have a certificate of occupancy for the building and it can now be open to the public. He said he now has to write a letter of completion to the contractor which will start the one year warranty period.  
Airport user Trevor Gilman asked if anyone was actually going to be in the building to keep an eye on it.
"How are we going to evaluate the building if no one is in it," he said. "That clock is going to be ticking."
Canales said since they just received the certificate of occupancy they really haven't had the chance to figure out how they want to occupy the building.
"We just got it the other day so we just have to figure out what we are going to do without the restaurant. We have to figure out how it is going to be used," he said. "We have to figure out what will be locked and what will be open."
He added that the airport manager and city staff regularly walk through the building to make sure everything is working.
Chairman Jeffrey Naughton added that it would be helpful to have the restaurant and FBO spaces filled.
Gilman was happy with the answer and felt the city and commission should have had a plan - especially with the addition of a new full time airport employee built into the budget. 
"We are two years into this project...we knew what it was going to be and this is a long way into this," he said. "...We go month after month with no progress so can we just discuss it and figure it out because the collateral damage of having nothing just keeps building."
Gilman suggested bringing it up at the next meeting, however Milazzo felt it was better that the city take their time and "get it right once."

Tags: airport terminal,   harriman west,   restaurants,   

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North Adams School Officials See Plans for Brayton Hill Improvements

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The dangerous entrance to the Northern Berkshire Family YMCA is going to be reconstructed to make it safer for children walking to school. 
The $622,000 project is part of the state Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School initiative and is being funded through the Transportation Improvement Program.
It will include revamping the steep entrance on the west side of Brayton School and the YMCA and adding in sidewalks and other improvements. 
The public schools outreach coordinator Emily Schiavoni said the school district and Northern Berkshire Community Coalition have been partners in the program since 2016. The two entities applied in 2019 to the Safe Routes to Schools program for Brayton and were accepted.
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