Adams Local Licensing Authority Talks 2022 License Renewals

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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Selectman Richard Blanchard, left, and Town Administrator Jay Green discuss the status of licensees who have not completed inspections.

ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen's Local Licensing Authority Subcommittee has reviewed all licenses pending renewal in 2022, including alcohol licenses, entertainment licenses, auto sales licenses and lodging licenses.

The board discussed license renewals at its meeting on Monday, hoping that license holders are able to resolve any issues as soon as possible. Of the businesses reviewed, several had completed the necessary paperwork and were only waiting for certificates of inspection or license payments.
"I think in the past, we've approved their renewal on the condition that they pass their inspection," said Selectmen Vice Chairwoman Christine Hoyt.  
The board extensively discussed the status of Mount Royal Inn, located at 99 Howland Ave. As of Wednesday, the inn had not submitted any paperwork or payments for their licenses, despite paying taxes.
"They pay their taxes, which allows us to issue the certificates and licenses that they need, yet they don't want to cooperate with our inspectional services team to inspect," said Town Administrator Jay Green.
Hoyt said the town sent Mount Royal Inn owners several letters informing them that they could lose their license if they did not comply with deadlines. The inn's license expires on Dec. 31.
"I would hope that it wouldn't come to shutting them down," she said. "But after chasing for this long, I have not a lot of faith that everything will be turned in in the amount of time that we have. I don't believe that they'll get their inspections done in a timely fashion."
Building Commissioner Gerald Garner and Board of Health Code Enforcement Officer Mark Blaisdell were present at the meeting to provide context about issues with licensees. Blaisdell said the Board of Health asked the owner of Mount Royal Inn to appear at its Dec. 15 meeting.
"The Board of Health is actively monitoring this situation," he said. "I had a conversation with [the owner] on Wednesday. And after speaking with Deb [Dunlap], he said it was all going to be taken care of this week."
Hoyt suggested Garner, Blaisdell, Police Chief K. Scott Kelly and Town Counsel Edmund St. John III discuss the matter further and plan for the possibility that Mount Royal Inn does not meet renewal requirements in time.
"I haven't spoken with town counsel, but I would presume that if they continue to operate [after losing their license], town counsel could file a cease and desist to the court," Blaisdell said.
Victory Lounge, located on 13 Victory St., was missing workman's compensation and liquor liability paperwork at the time of the meeting, in addition to needing an inspection. Hoyt said she recommends not renewing the lounge's licenses, assuming the necessary paperwork is not submitted.
Garner said the new owners of Victory Lounge, which has not been open for a year and a half, had inquired about conducting building renovations but had not provided the information necessary for his approval. The building is the former Polish National Alliance.
"I have not been in that building since last year when they first purchased it," he said.
Garner said he completed several inspections in the hours leading up to the meeting, with several more to happen in the days to come.
"It went real well today," he said. "We did most of these inspections in two days, and we were done. It went great. It was just a couple of places, that's it."
Red Carpet and The Grille did not renew any of their licenses, according to the board.

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Adams Dissolves Memorial Building Subcommittee; Renovations Near Completion

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — As renovations to the former Memorial School Building wrap up, the Board of Selectmen has decided to dissolve the subcommittee that worked toward reuse of the former middle school. 


"So over the many years after the board appointed this subcommittee, I believe it is time to put an end to this subcommittee," said Selectmen Chairman John Duval. 


The board voted to dissolve the subcommittee on Wednesday as the building moves toward a tentative re-opening for public use in the spring. Eight years after its formation, Duval said the subcommittee has finally completed the goal it set out to achieve. 


Once renovations are complete, the facility will become the center of operations for the Adams Council on Aging and several spaces will be opened for public use. Additionally, the Selectmen chose developer Wayland North late last year to develop parts of the facility into commercial and residential space.  


The Public Works and Facilities Subcommittee has taken the responsibility of determining the usage and policy surrounding public use of the building, which was  discussed at its meeting on Jan. 13. At that meeting, Town Administrator Jay Green said May is the target for re-opening but the exact time will depend on several factors, including moving and completing other aspects of the facility like bathrooms. 


"If we can get more work done first before anybody goes in there, I think, logistically, that's the better solution," he said. "But we're very early in those stages."


The fee structure and other usage guidelines for the building are still to be determined. Green said the gymnasium is nearly ready for use, barring the installation of covers for thermostats and wall fixtures. 


"Right now, that is the one primary thing that is keeping us from being able to really allow use of that gymnasium," he said. "They're on order. They're being paid attention to as soon as we can get those in and get those secured. The risk of damage to those and against substantial cost in money, I think is too much." 


Green said even when cover installs are complete, he thinks it would be best to not open the facility for public use until the weather is better. He said facilities staff needs time to adjust to maintaining the building, which would be hard when they have other town buildings to manage. 


"They haven't been going over to memorial at all during inclement weather because the building is not open to the public," he said. "So if we were to open that building, let's say those cages come in tomorrow and we put those up, I would still not necessarily recommend that we do that." 


Additionally, Green said the town has to complete the work necessary to secure parts of the building from public access. He said this is necessary to prevent those using the building from entering the private development spaces. 


"We have a developer who is negotiating with the town to develop it," he said. "And we want to make sure that we have the ability to keep anyone who is using the building out of those spaces. So that's ongoing, almost complete." 


The auditorium, Green said, is one area of the building that is not currently ready for public use. He said the use of the auditorium is pending an update on its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. 


"The auditorium does not have HVAC," he said. "It is not air-conditioned, it is not heated because the original heating plant for the building has been decommissioned. So that is a future capital project for the town to come up with a plan to provide the same air conditioning heat that the lobby, gymnasium and Council on Aging function spaces have." 


Green said coming up with use guidelines and a schedule for the building will be a significant priority once it is opened for public use again. He said the town needs to work with the COA and others using the building to keep the facility organized and ready for whoever needs to use it. 


"If they know the building is going to be used that evening for basketball practice or something, they're going to have to clean their stuff up," he said. "So it'll just require some day-to-day management."

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