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Neighbors' Feud Surfaces at Adams Board of Health Meeting

By Gregory FournieriBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. —  A neighbor feud over trees surfaced during one of the agenda items at the Board of Health meeting Wednesday,
The issue in question revolved around two neighbors on Summer Street in Adams. One neighbor, John Sherman, lives at 5 Summer St. and has on his property a number of trees that reportedly overhang into his neighbor's lawn. David Krol lives at 7 Summer St. and argued that the trees on Sherman's property "pose a danger" to himself and his family.
Krol had an arborist view the property and prepare a report to present at the meeting. While the arborist was not present, the board reviewed parts of his report, which they said was extensive and thorough. 
The arborist reported that if a tree from Sherman's yard fell into Krol's yard while someone was in Krol's yard, it could pose a danger to anyone present. The arborist recommended that all five trees in Sherman's yard be removed.
Sherman said he had talked to a tree removal expert in Bennington, Vt., who has been removing trees for more than 30 years. This expert said there was "nothing wrong" with the trees, according to Sherman, but he was also not present at the meeting.
Sherman said he was told that "the root systems are holding" all of his trees together, and that cutting down one or two trees in his yard could damage the structural integrity of those trees.
Sherman was visibly irritated at the meeting. He had Code Enforcement Officer Mark Blaisdell read aloud a note Sherman had sent to him. The note mentioned that Sherman had been feuding with the Krols for 10 years, and in this instance, he "find[s] them just picking another fight."
Sherman's note also read: "Maybe we should just think of my neighbors as Chicken Little and Henny Penny."
Sherman also pointed out that Krol's arborist reported only a "moderate" risk of the trees falling down into the Krols' yard while his expert said there was almost no risk of the trees falling.
When asked if the arborist mentioned the root system's potential vulnerability, Krol said his arborist said "owning a home is a privilege," and that removing trees at the request of one's neighbor was simply part of being a good neighbor.
Board of Health chairman David Rhoads tabled the discussion until the June 9 meeting. He said he hopes the arborist and the tree removal expert will be present at the next meeting to sort out some of the differences.

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Adams Town Meeting OKs $16.2M Budget, Cannabis Zoning Amendment

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Town Moderator Myra Wilk conducts the annual town meeting.
ADAMS, Mass. — The annual town meeting accepted 29 articles on Monday, including a $16.2 million fiscal 2022 budget and a zoning bylaw amendment that allows cannabis cultivators and manufacturers in the industrial park district.
There were 102 town meeting members in attendance outside at Bowe Field, or nearly two-thirds of the members. An overflow tent was set up beside the pavilion to accommodate additional people.
The meeting adjourned well before sundown, around 7:15 p.m. 
The FY22 budget of $16,228,113 is a minus 0.76 percent decrease from fiscal 2021, which had a bottom line of $16,348,818. The budget increases personnel costs by 1.25 percent and operational costs have decreased by 0.24 percent.
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