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The torrential water from storms in 2018 collapsed the culvert at Davis and Lime Street.

Adams Con Comm OKs Culvert, Continues Cumberland Farms

By Gregory FournieriBerkshires Correspondent
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Conservation Commission agreed to continue approval last week for culvert repairs on Lime Street.
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.
This project dates back to storms that occurred in September 2018, causing an estimated $1 million in damage, as well as Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Commissioner David Lipinski pushed for approval, saying, "they've been waiting for three years down there" to start the project.
Commissioner Thomas Robinson produced a letter from the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) expressing concern about the project. Ultimately, however, Robinson and the other commission members rejected the letter because representatives did not attend the publicly available meeting.
The commission approved the request.
The commission then discussed the planned Cumberland Farms project. Located at 5 Elm St. and 89 & 95 Commercial St., the proposed convenience store and gas station poses a potential hazard if there are oil or gas spills.
Robinson, noted that the proposed drainage system for the project leads to the Hoosic River. 
"I don't think it makes sense to send that water directly into the river," Robinson said. A fuel spill "might never happen, but if it does, we have real, real problems."
Lipinski pushed back on this hesitance, questioning the likelihood of a gas spillage ever occurring. He also said, "I'll bet you that every gas station on the planet has the same situation if there's a spill." 
He expressed confidence in Cumberland Farms' ability to manage such a spill if it ever were to occur.
The commissioners ended up tabling the issue. They will address it again at their next meeting in two weeks. 
The commission in March had heard a presentation on the convenience store's plans to for landscaping, water runoff and remediation of some 3,000 tons of contaminated soil at the site at an estimated cost of $200,000. Hill Engineering has been contracted by the town to do a peer review to determine the plans comply with the Wetlands Protection Act and state's stormwater management requirements.
The commission had first heard a request for determination filed by Pan Am Railways, Inc. The railway requested verification of sensitive areas along the wetland boundaries of the Adams branch rail line as they related to the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act.
Pan Am Railways consultant Keith Morris said the request for determination is a routine measure that occurs every five years, in which the railway must renew the no-spray zones along the rights of ways.
Morris, who has been consulting for the railway for 20 to 25 years, was confident that he knows where the sensitive areas were. After a brief discussion, the commission approved the request.
The next meeting of the Conservation Commission will be in two weeks, on May 13.

Tags: conservation commission,   culvert,   

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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."
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