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Lanesborough's Gulf Road Remains Closed, Outage Planned For Bull Hill

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen reluctantly voted to keep the town's side of Gulf Road closed through the duration of the pandemic. 
 
The decision was made Monday following discussion of a memo from Department of Public Works head William Decelles regarding the reopening of the seasonal dirt road. It often serves as a shortcut between Lanesborough and Dalton and allows cars to avoid the retail-related traffic at Allendale Plaza as well as Berkshire Crossing in Pittsfield.
 
Decelles, in his memo, said his discussions with the Dalton highway chief led him to believe that both the Dalton town manager and police chief wanted the road to remain closed through the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said the town could lose some Chapter 90 road funds if it remains closed going forward.
 
Decelles wants the road to open, an opinion shared by the board.
 
"If anything ever happened on that side [of Dalton] there is still access to get to Route 8 in Lanesborough without having to go to East Street … and vice versa. It wouldn't be a lot of Chapter 90 money but I still don't think we should close it," said Chairman John Goerlach.
 
The board was unsure what the pandemic had to do with the road being opened but ended up agreeing to keep it closed until the crisis is over in keeping with Dalton's plan.
 
Town Secretary Diane Stevens brought to the board's attention a planned power outage by Eversource scheduled for Tuesday, June 23. The outage will last up to six hours and will affect the Bull Hill Road area as that's where the work is being performed. Eversource is planning robocalls and mailers to affected residents and the information is also on the town website.
 
In other business, the board approved the Lakeside Restaurant's request to add four outdoor tables. Massachusetts recently allowed restaurants to reopen for outside dining only as part of Phase II of its pandemic reopening plan and towns have been given a wide berth to approve changes to businesses looking to enlarge their outdoor dining footprint. The tables will sit between the existing deck and Pontoosuc Lake.
 
Saturday's community paper shredding event was a success according to Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District head Linda Cernik. She informed the board in an email that 4,800 hundred pounds of paper was shredded by a mobile unit at Lanesborough Town Hall. The Selectmen thanked everyone who was involved and said they are looking to try to make it an annual event.
     
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Lanesborough Hoping to Reopen Recycling Process Soon

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

Newly elected Selectman Michael Murphy, center, participates in his first meeting on Thursday night.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Selectman welcomed new member Michael Murphy, elected last week, to the board with a fairly light load Thursday evening. 
 
Cable TV contracts, Gulf Road and recycling were on the agenda among other items.
 
At their last meeting, the board had decided to keep Gulf Road closed until Dalton was comfortable opening the seasonal dirt byway. It serves as a shortcut between Lanesborough and Dalton and allows drivers to avoid shopping related traffic at Allendale Plaza and Berkshire Crossing in Pittsfield. It also could serve as an emergency detour should Route 8 be closed for any reason.
 
On Thursday, the board again voted but this time to reopen the road. But Murphy said he had spoken to a resident of Gulf Road who had wanted to advocate for the road to stay closed. This led into a discussion of why there is no public comment portion of the meeting since participation is now limited because of Town Hall being closed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
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