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Adams' Field Project to Include Lights

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — Lights at Russell Field are back in the plans and the town will find a way to fund the balance.
Department of Public Works Director Robert Tober told the Parks Commission last week that the town was confident that functional lights would be installed at sports field during the renovation.   
The town tapped Community Development Block Grant funds to overhaul the field, and until recently, it was thought that lights would be too expensive to include in the project. Tober said original estimates were more than $90,000.
However, after meeting with different contractors, he was confident the field could be lit at a lesser cost.
"We don't have the exact number yet, but the town is confident that we can find some money to cover that cost for next year," he said. "Again we don't have any solid numbers, but the feeling is that we should be able to find some money to do that." 
Town Administrator Jay Green said later in the week that if the town utilizes the current lighting poles, it can save a substantial amount of money even with running new conduits and wire.
Green said the town still needs to come up with around $5,000 to refurbish the lighting currently at the field. Although he was confident that these funds could be found or raised, he suggested that local sports organizations could help fund raise.
Also in regard to Russell Field, Tober said he is working with the contractor to perfect the softball infield material. He said he was not happy with the way last weeks rain effected the material currently used 
"We are looking at that," he said. "We want to make sure that it is the right material. It is an ongoing saga." 
He said the contractor pledged to get the mix right and replace it if need be.
Tober said the tennis court was recently paved and the outdoor fitness equipment has been shipped.
He believed the project could be wrapped up by the end of the month. 
In other business, the commission did not act on a request from the youth football program to utilize town fields, because they did not submit an application. Chairwoman Cynthia Bird reminded all sports organizations that field use request applications must be submitted. 
"They have to come to us with an application, and I don't want football taking over Russell Field because we have to all put in an application," Bird said. "We need to see timelines and have everything prepared."
The rest of the commission agreed and Commissioner James Fassell said he wanted the youth to use the fields but wanted the proper protocol to be followed.
"Our primary goal during the fall is to support the fall football program and we should do everything we can to help them sort it out," Fassell said.  
The commission did discuss the actual football program and Fassell said practices will be modified to meet state COVID-19 regulations.
"Football is back on, and it will be seven on seven," he said. "No uniforms are being handed out."
He said kids would essentially be playing flag football and there will be no contact.
Bird asked if an application needed to be signed off by the code enforcement officer.
This then led to a conversation on whether spectators should be allowed to watch football. Fassell suggested maybe only allowing family while Commissioner Jacob Shutz felt the first priority should be getting kids on the field. Attendance was a secondary issue they could hash out with the code enforcement officer
"Our goal is to get kids on fields safely," he said. "If we can make that happen we support that even if it is with strict restrictions." 
The commission agreed to reach out to the code enforcement officer and Bird noted that he has been making stops at fields to make sure the proper COVID-19 protocol is being followed.

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BArT Students Receive John and Abigail Adams Scholarships

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The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship provides merit-based credit toward tuition for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a Massachusetts state college or university. The scholarship covers tuition only, fees and room and board are not included.
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