ADAMS, Mass. — The Memorial Building is once again on the backburner after town officials terminated a request for proposals for the long vacant structure. But the deadline for bids on revamping Russell Field have been extended.
Director of Community Development Donna Cesan said the town has decided to terminate the proposal process for the Memorial Building redevelopment with the hopes of reissuing the RFP again in September.
"For me, the proposal process, although needing to be stopped because of COVID-19, was still encouraging and validated there is keen interest in the building's potential," Cesan said.
She said the financial impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic have guided this decision and she noted that the current financial landscape is not the most welcoming for potential developers.
"Mostly, it is the uncertainty now and the expected difficulty in obtaining financing," she said.
Cesan said they also decided to hold off on the RFP until the town can hold a town meeting and potentially pass adopt the state's 40R law, which will create an overlay district to encourage density housing development and commercial activities.
"A couple of developers had asked that we delay until after town meeting because they were very interested in 40R and the favorable financial incentives the program would likely offer," she said. "At this juncture, we do not have a firm schedule on when proposed new bylaws, including 40R, will advance to town meeting."
The state instituted 40R to incentivize developers to utilize existing structures to create market-value housing along with a certain percentage of affordable and commercial space.
Cesan said developers did tour the building on March 5 and they saw potential.
"There were a lot of positive comments made about the good condition of the building, it's location within the town center, and within walking distance to everything, also it's location along the bus line and proximity to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail," she said. "Those participating in the site visit noted that the classrooms and broad hallways providing easy opportunities for reuse of the building as apartments."
Bids were originally due May 14.
As for Russell Field, bids were due Thursday but are now extended to May 28.
The town plans a substantial overhaul of the park that will include improved field conditions and amenities, improved drainage, and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility.
Cesan indicated that this extension is also in response to difficulties caused by the pandemic.
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New Adams Police Chief, Officers Union Contract Announced Wednesday Night
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
Officer Josh Baker reads from a portion of the new three-year union contract that was ratified by the Selectmen on Wednesday night.
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen on Wednesday officially introduced new interim Police Chief Troy Bacon in all too common COVID-19 style.
The appointment of a municipality's top law enforcement officer is usually heavily attended by town officials and accompanied by dozens of handshakes. Because of restrictions in place from the worldwide pandemic, this one was carried out with nary an elbow bump.
Bacon will assume the post on Tuesday, July 14, after current Chief Richard Tarsa's retirement becomes official at 11:59 p.m. Monday night. Bacon, 44, recently retired from the Frankfort, Ind., police department after 20 years. He had one of his daughters with him this week for a whirlwind tour of the area before she headed back on a plane to the Midwest.
"One thing she said was, 'There's a lot of trees here dad," he answered smiling when asked by Selectman Joseph Nowak about his daughter's first impression of the area. "I told her yes, that's right, that's one of the reasons I applied here.
Bacon will assume the post on Tuesday, July 14, after current Chief Richard Tarsa's retirement becomes official at 11:59 p.m. Monday night. Bacon, 44, recently retired from the Frankfort, Ind., police department after 20 years. click for more
Late last year, the Board of Health agreed to implement a new regulation that would limit the amount of tobacco sales permits allowed in town. The new regulation would not affect those already selling tobacco products.
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The past few weeks have seen on-site retail sales return and patio seating reopen, followed by a socially distanced form of inside dining for restaurants.
Wednesday night the board, with guidance from Code Enforcement Officer Mark Blaisdell, took the necessary steps to reopen parks and open... click for more
Just like its partner in the Hoosac Valley Regional School District, Cheshire, and the school district itself, Adams will wait for definitive state aid numbers from Boston before approving a hard budget. The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned wide speculation of revenue shortfalls in the commonwealth.... click for more