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Adams held its annual town meeting under the pavilion at Bowe Field on Monday.
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An overflow tent was set up beside the pavilion.

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

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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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.
 
The Hoosac Valley Regional School District FY22 budget of $6,137,745 was also accepted.
 
A zoning bylaw amendment that would allow cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and independent testing laboratories in the industrial park (IP) district with a special permit had the largest disparity of voters and some debate.
 
Prior to the amendment, only cannabis testing was allowed in the park by special permit.
 
The article passed with 92-9 opposed, and one abstention.
 
In April, the Selectmen agreed to begin the process of amending the town's marijuana bylaws to accommodate unallowed uses in the park. Reportedly, there had been interest from various businesses to have cultivation and manufacturing operations in the district over the years.
 
Selectman Joseph Nowak spoke in support of the zoning amendment. He said the town should be thinking about the future of cannabis.
 
"We worked very hard to try to get some interest in this community, which we did, but I ended up being a little disappointed with what has happened in this community," he added. "So many other establishments are open and thriving, and the worry I have now is that New York has recently passed the bill for medical and recreational marijuana, and with us being at the border of New York, I worry about the cutting into our possible revenues from our town."
 
Planning Board member Sandra Moderski said she was concerned that this might not be the right use for an IP district. With cannabis being "such a new industry," she wanted more time to study it and see how it progresses.
 
Moderski emphasized the importance of being good neighbors to the people who are already in the park and supporting them because they chose to make Adams the home of their businesses,
 
It's not all about the money that could be raised by cannabis sales, she said, and just because someone wants to start a business in the town "doesn't mean they are good."
 
In addition, the town meeting members voted to present a home rule petition to the Legislature requesting that the Board of Selectmen be able to grant six additional licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages that are to be drunk onvpremises.
 
They also voted on fixed salaries for the Board of Selectmen, Board of Assessors, Board of Health, and cemetery commissioners all with a rate of $350 for the chair and $300 for members.
 
The treasurer/collector's salary was accepted as $73,172, the town clerk's salary of $73,172, and the moderator's salary of $300.

Tags: town meeting 2021,   

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Adams Fire District Sets Virtual Review of Organizational Study

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass.— The Fire Department will hold a virtual meeting to go over some findings from the recent Organizational Assessment and Strategic Plan that could inform some changes within the Fire District.
 
The Fire District has scheduled a virtual meeting on Tuesday, July 27, at 6:30 p.m. over the Zoom platform to take a deeper look into the completed plan and potential timelines.
 
"I really want to see the public join in on this Zoom meeting," Fire Chief John Pansecchi said. "It is important that they hear about this report and see that these problems are consistent across the country."
 
Municipal Resources Inc. of New Hampshire was hired to review the fire and rescue services provided to the town. The group developed a target hazard analysis, reviewed response metrics, evaluated the current facility, apparatus, budget, and conducted a number of interviews with various stakeholders.
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