ADAMS, Mass. — The town has received the Community Development Block Grant funds it needs to renovate Russell Field.
According to the town's Office of Community Development, the work could begin this spring or summer.
"We have received Community Development Block Grant funding, are finalizing the design and will do the renovations this spring and summer," Community Development Program Manager Rebecca Ferguson said.
This project goes back some years but really ramped up in 2018 after coaches and parents brought forth their concerns over the field's condition.
The playing fields had deteriorated and the playing surfaces are uneven. The surface area of the existing tennis courts is severely cracked in several places and field amenities are in a state of disrepair.
About a year ago, the Selectmen approved the project and included it in the town's CDBG application.
Currently, the park provides playing fields for youth sports including Babe Ruth, high school softball, youth football and practice fields for high school football. It also is heavily used by schools, organizations, and the Council on Aging.
The Department of Public Works has made small improvements over the years to the facility with the resurfacing of the courts and field maintenance. The fields themselves have not been renovated in 40 years.
"No significant improvements have been made for the fields in the past four decades," Community Development stated in a press release. "Given their age, the fields have reached a point where a complete reconstruction is warranted."
The town plans to update all softball infrastructure and the softball fields will be fully renovated with a new backstop, mound, plates, and benches.
The tennis courts will also be improved and an adult fitness area added.
The park will be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and the town is also looking to improve drainage in the western end of the park to eliminate ponding.
Students from McCann Technical School will renovate the field house to have storage space for team equipment, public restrooms, and a concession area
Ferguson said Guntlow & Associates is finalizing the plans and with the expectation to go out to bid in mid-April.
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Adams Votes for North Berkshire EMS
By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen on Thursday voted at the end of a 2 1/2-hour meeting to designate Northern Berkshire EMS as its primary provider of emergency services as of Jan. 1.
The vote was 4-0 and comes two days after the Cheshire Select Board unanimously voted the same.
Members and supporters of the Adams Ambulance Service asked the board to hold off on its decision but officials were not confident that it would be able to rectify its financial woes within a four-week timeframe. Or if the state Department of Public Health would allow it to continue operation since it had notified the DPH that it would close Dec. 31 if not earlier.
The service is also under a corrective order by the state for failing to develop a state-approved plan to prevent coverage from being disrupted. It has a deadline of Dec. 20 to comply.
"The Department of Public Health says we cannot move forward assuming that Adams Ambulance Service will be allowed to continue to provide coverage to the town," said Town Administrator Jay Green. "That is the context of the hearing."
Green stressed that Adams Ambulance is a private non-profit that is not operated or funded by the town and that the change in service provider does not mean it will cease to function. Rather, Northern Berkshire will be the first dispatched for 911 calls; Adams will still be part of mutual aid, will be able to take transports and continue to cover Savoy and Hawley.
Selectman Howard Rosenberg said the lack of information coming from the ambulance service over the past 18 months played into their decisions.
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