ADAMS, Mass. — The town is planning for a late June celebration to unveil the Susan B. Anthony statue and the renovated town common.
"We want the town common be presentable and we want to be able to invite elected officials so we can do right by the statute and do right by the town common," Town Administrator Jay Green said Wednesday at the Selectmen's regular meeting.
Over the past few years, the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee (ASCCC) had been working toward a yearlong celebration in 2020 to mark the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the 200th birthday of Susan B. Anthony, who was born in Adams.
The committee had raised a substantial amount of money to commission renowned sculptor Brian Hanlon to create a bronze statue of Anthony. The town also renovated the common at the corner of Commercial and Center streets to accommodate the statue.
The celebration was going to culminate last August with a weekend's worth of activities including live music, a food truck festival, fireworks and a parade all leading up to the unveiling and dedication of the statue.
With COVID-19, this, of course, never happened.
Selectman Joseph Nowak, who served on the committee, asked Wednesday what the town's plans were.
"People have asked me what was going on there, and I dont know," Nowak said. "I don't know what to tell them. It just seems like it is off the radar screen ... We can't just have it next week if we want it fitting for all of the work that was done there."
Nowak felt the town needed at least a month to plan the dedication and make the proper invitations. Also, he noted the newly renovated site still needs some work.
"The common is riddled with Japanese knotweed. Apparently, it came in with the topsoil. There must have been some cutting because it doesn't take much for that to spread," he said. "It is overrunning the common."
He said the weed cannot simply be cut but needs to be eradicated. Mowing it would only cause it to spread farther.
He said other plantings also need attention
Green said the dedication has not been forgotten, there has just been a lot on his team's plate.
"Everyone needs to understand that we have been asked to do quite a bit of stuff at Town Hall with limited staff," he said. "Officer Evans' funeral was very time-consuming so we are doing a lot of stuff and reacting to things."
He said he handed the project off to then Chairwoman Christine Hoyt.
Hoyt said Community Development is aware of the foliage issues and she had planned to schedule the dedication for some time in late June. She said this would give the town a chance to clean up the common and would fit better into state officials' schedules.
In other business, the Selectmen ratified the hiring of Kristin Doolittle for the position of Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator I.
They also approved the Rainbow Shack's common victualer license and approved a Sunday entertainment license for First Baptist Church of North Adams for a music festival to be held at Burnett's Farm.