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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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Juneteenth Celebrated as State, National Holiday

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Saturday is the first time that Juneteenth will be celebrated as state holiday but also as a national holiday. 
 
The date has long been celebrated in parts of the country, sometimes as Emancipation Day, the day in 1865 when Union Army Gen. Gordan Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas, completing the end of slavery in the areas of the United States after more than 300 years. Juneteenth has been a state holiday in Texas for nearly 40 years.
 
President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation nearly three years earlier but it would take the advance of the Union Army into the Confederacy to make freedom a reality. 
 
Former Gov. Deval Patrick had first signed a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth in 2007 and, last July, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill making Juneteenth a state holiday.
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