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Adams Residential Tax Rate Up 3 Percent

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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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.

Tags: fiscal 2021,   property taxes,   tax classification,   

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Adams Police Officer Commended for Life-Saving Actions

Staff Reports
ADAMS, Mass. — Police Officer Samantha Morin was recognized for her actions this past week that are said to have saved the life of a stabbing victim.
A letter of commendation from Police Sgt. Dylan Hicks to the Board of Selectmen was read aloud by Chairwoman Christine Hoyt on Tuesday. The letter referred to a stabbing incident in the town that occurred on Monday.
"This is my deepest and most profound admiration, that I must willingly and gladly write to the select board, a letter of commendation for officers Samantha Morin and request that she be formally recognized for her heroic actions on Nov. 23, 2020," Hoyt read. "As a police officer for the town of Adams, in the field training program, she responded to a call for service to the stabbing and provided extraordinary life-saving measures in the form of medical aid to the victim."
Morin was sworn in as an officer in September after having served in the Army and with U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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