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Russell Field on Harmony Street is set for its first major overhaul in 40 years.

Adams Receives Funds for Russell Field Renovation

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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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.
 
The project is estimated to cost $460,000.
 

Tags: CDBG,   playing fields,   

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Adams Town Meeting Accepts 40R Zoning Overlay

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Town Clerk Haley Meczywor speaks at town meeting. 
ADAMS, Mass. — Town meeting accepted all 28 articles on the annual town meeting warrant, including the controversial 40R zoning overlay and the fiscal 2021 budget of $16.3 million.
 
Town meeting was held outside at Bowe Field on Thursday to accommodate COVID-19 safety precautions and meeting members passed the bulk of the 28 articles in a single swift vote.
 
The night's discussion mostly focused on Article 20, the adoption of the 40R smart growth overlay district. This conversation started during the daylight and wrapped up around 7:40 p.m., long after the pavilion lights were turned on.
 
The state instituted 40R to incentivize developers to utilize existing structures to create market-value housing along with a certain percentage of affordable housing and commercial space. The statute provides incentives to towns, such as access to capital and a payment to municipalities to acknowledge and ease the impact of increased housing and traffic
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