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North Adams Airport Manager to Resign

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Longtime Airport Manager Willard Greenwald will resign at the end of June.
 
The Airport Commission approved a new airport manager job description Tuesday at its regular monthly meeting and Chairman Jeff Naughton announced that Greenwald would be leaving his post July 1.
 
"We have to have to find someone to replace Bill; he has done a wonderful job," Naughton said.
 
Naughton did not go into the reasons for the resignation but after being asked about further resignations during public comment, he affirmed that he too would be leaving July 1 along with fellow Commissioner Armand Boillat.
 
He said he did meet with Mayor Thomas Bernard and there are no plans to reduce the five-member commission. He said the mayor must appoint two new members.
 
Commissioner Shaun Dougherty will be the only remaining member of the commission who was appointed before Bernard took office.
 
In other business, Peter Enzien of Stantec Consulting Services, the airport's engineer, gave a lengthy airport projects update and noted that over the past few years, nearly $1 million in upgrades have been made at the airport and the city has only paid in about $1,700.
 
"Overall, I think the airport did well over the last two years for 2020 and 2021," he said.
 
Running through the ongoing list, Enzien said the parameter fence project is largely complete
 
"They did a really nice job and this project that has been on the list for some time," he said.
 
He said the original plan was to split the project up over a few years so multiple annual grants could be used, however, the Federal Aviation Administration stepped up and funded the entire $600,000 project in one shot.
 
Enzien said the Administrative Building should be completely wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.
 
He said the few small remaining projects were held up during the pandemic because the renovated former doctors building was being utilized as an emergency operation center.
 
"When that happened, that stopped us form doing any work at all and finishing up the punch list but now that things are lightening up, we will be able to get back in there," he said.
 
He said new furniture has arrived and will be installed shortly.
 
Enzien said the state Department of Transportation sealed the entire runway and redid striping at no cost to the city
 
The Airport Master Plan update should be completed by the end of the month. Also, the Wildlife Assessment Project will be wrapped up soon upon the compilation of a report.
 
He also cited a list of maintenance equipment purchases.
 
He said this year they look to correct taxiway Alpha 2
 
"It is basically a geometric correction to a problem that FAA sees when you have direct access off of the apron onto the taxiway that takes you right out onto the runway," he said. "So the idea is we remove the pavement associated with the taxiway and force the pilot to make a number of turns before actually entering."
 
He said there was about $120,000 scheduled for the project but a single bid came in at $220,000. Because of looming deadlines, the FAA agreed to fund this steeper bid in totality.
 
Before the meeting, the commission held a special meeting to address two Open Meeting Law complaints.
 
Naughton dismissed the first complaint in regard to the March 30 meeting because the commission never actually met because it did not have a quorum.
 
The second complaint was connected to an April 30 meeting that the public was not able to access. 
 
Naughton apologized and noted the commission was having technical difficulties with Zoom platform being used by the city.
 
"That is absolutely correct, we were having technical difficulties and the public could not enter into the meeting," he said. "The commission could not get into the meeting."
 
He said a new Zoom link was created and sent out to commissioners and that the meeting's audio recording is available on the city's website.
 
iBerkshires.com did acquire the 12-minute recording immediately after the failed meeting. The commissioners only signed off on some warrants. Most of the recording was of the commissioners trying to sort out the technical difficulties.
 

 


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Governor Pushing for Two-Month Sales Tax Holiday

BOSTON — The governor is proposing a two-month-long sales tax holiday this year as a way to support local economies and that would put an estimated $900 million back into residents' pockets. 
 
A sales tax holiday is already on the books for Aug. 14-16, a weekend of tax relief in August that's now a law in the state at this point. The Baker-Polito administration filed legislation on Wednesday to expand the sales tax holiday to the entire months of August and September.
 
"A two-month sales tax holiday will provide a boost to Massachusetts' taxpayers and Main Street economies as we continue to recover from COVID-19," said Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday in a statement. "Massachusetts' economic recovery is off to a good start, but it's crucial that the commonwealth takes action now to spur more economic activity in communities and support taxpayers. Thanks to stronger than expected tax revenues, the commonwealth has managed to grow the rainy day fund to a balance higher than it was at the beginning of the pandemic, and we can also afford to return these tax dollars to our residents and small businesses."
 
State tax revenues for fiscal 2021, he said, continues to "significantly exceed projections." Sales tax revenues to date are 14.9 percent above benchmark and revenues across the board means the state is poised to end the fiscal year with a significant surplus.
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