ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen set a fiscal 2021 residential tax rate of $22.62 and a commercial tax rate of $26.89 per $1,000 valuation. Both figures are up 3 percent over last year.
The board members approved a 115 percent split that represents a 74 cent increase on the residential side and a 90 increase on the commercial side of the tax rate at Wednesday's tax classification hearing.
"Everybody has to pay taxes, and I think we do very well in this community making our elderly feel at home," Selectman Joseph Nowak said. "I think we do well for our children, and this is a matter of everybody pitching in."
Last year, the Selectmen approved the same 115 percent shift that created a residential tax rate of $21.88 and a commercial rate of $25.99, or
Assessor Donna MacDonald said the average home valuation in Adams is $140,000, so the average tax bill will increase around $100.
MacDonald laid out different scenarios and said a single tax rate would be $23.38. The Selectmen did not approach adopting a single rate.
Bookending this shift: A 110 percent shift would create a residential rate of $22.88 and a commercial rate of $26.19 and a 130 percent shift would create a residential rate of $21.86 and a commercial rate of $30.40.
Nowak did note that town meeting approved the use of $250,000 of free cash to offset the tax rate.
MacDonald said the town's valuation increased by almost $7 million, of which $3.2 million is new growth.
"That is a good trend; that is a good sign," she said. "So we are hoping for the best."
Nowak said he was happy to see so many new businesses coming to Adams, and he hoped this trend continued.
In other business, the town's search for a police chief continues as interim Chief Troy Bacon said he will not apply for the position. Bacon had indicated when hired that he was interested in taking the job permanently.
"This is a disappointing announcement, but I do have to make it. The town of Adams will have to resume its search for a chief of police," Town Administrator Jay Green said. "... Interim Chief Bacon has advised me that he has been summoned back to Indiana and will not be able to apply for the permanent position."
Green said the opening has been posted, and Bacon does plan to help with the search process.
"I am happy about that, but we will be going back to the application pool," Green said.
Bacon was selected to replace retiring Police Chief Richard Tarsa this summer.
The board approved:
• A pledge of inventory and other documents, transfer of all-alcohol package store license from O'Geary's Package Store to Aneeliquor Inc.
• The transfer of an all-alcohol license from the PNA to the Victory Street Lounge Inc.
• The hiring of Waste Water Treatment Plant Assistant Maintenance Mechanic Operator II Brian Marko.
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Adams Aiming for Summer Reopening of Public Buildings
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The town is hoping to fully reopen by July, depending on public health data.
Town Administrator Jay Green told the Select Board on Wednesday that although he does not foresee completely opening until the summer, he thought it was time to start planning.
Green said currently the town is in the yellow level of the state's COVID-19 categories and that he would not be comfortable opening until the town is consistently in the green or, even better, gray. The levels run from red for high transmission and positive cases to gray at the lowest level.
"As long as we are in the red or yellow, that indicates the presence of COVID-19 at a level that could promote community spread," Green said. "As you can see there are a lot of communities opening up, but we are a little behind. Is it conservative? Yes but I think we are almost there."
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said with recruitment numbers dipping into the 20s and less availability among current members, the Alert Hose Company is trying to open its doors to a younger generation.
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The town had filed a continuance notice of intent requesting information on whether the demolition and removal of the damaged culvert pipe near the intersection of Davis Street and Lime Street is subject to the Wetlands Protection Act.
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