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Lev Kelman, owner of 660 Cheshire Road, said at Monday's board meeting that he expects construction to begin soon but wanted an extension in case of delays.

Lanesborough Approves Extension for Cannabis Dispensary

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Selectmen approved a one-year extension for operating and manufacturing for Royal Hemp LLC, which is in the process of constructing a new building on its property.


Lev Kelman, owner of 660 Cheshire Road, said at Monday's board meeting that he expects construction to begin soon but wanted a 24-month extension in case of delays. Kelman is one of only two licenses allowed by town bylaws.


"With everything the construction industry is going through now; the shortages of people, the shortages of equipment, the shortages of materials, I just realized that, by October, my plot might not change even though I'm going to put $500,000 into it," he said, noting he has a seven-month construction schedule. "We have to go get materials, we have to go get panels, we have to get whatever we have to get, and it's not easy. It's all constrained."


The Planning Board approved the new structure plans for the property in December of last year. The board was willing to grant Kelman an extension and would grant more time if more work went into the property.


"I would be amenable to the one year and I would think that, if we see structure there, we would grant him another extension," said board Chair John Goerlach.


Kelman also said on-site consumption is being considered by the Cannabis Control Commission and that he wants to add considerations for that to the building plans once the law is changed.


In other business, the board has approved $2,000 for the Police Station Building Committee to perform a needs assessment for adding ambulance services to the project. 


The committee requested this at the recommendation of architect Brian Humes, who met with the committee again last week. Humes, of Jackunsci Humes Architects, has made the two proposed designs for the new station. 


"He said he can do that without a physical site, so that's the natural next step for him to be able to take," committee Chair Kristen Tool said. "And that would mean he would just talk with Jen [Weber] and Rob [Derksen] about what they need, what space can be reconfigured from the designs that he already did to maximize the shared spaces." 


Tool updated the board on the department, which moved to its temporary location on 545 South Main St. last week and asked if the signage outside the old station could be moved or covered to avoid confusion. 


"Apparently, it's cemented in the ground," said Police Chief Robert Derksen. "They're thinking they might have to use a backhoe or some sort of front-loader. They wanna be careful to preserve the sign." 



The board approved: 


• A set of updated risk management policies for the town. Town Administrator Joshua Lang said the updated policies could make the town eligible for some insurance credits. 


"The town's goal is to provide a safe and secure environment," he said. "That being said, we conducted, as a risk management committee, an audit of the various policies and procedures that were missing. We worked as a committee to update these policies and procedures." 


An organizational strategic plan for the town. Lang said the goal of this plan is to add value to the town's organizational structure, which should allow for more programming and events. 


"I conducted various surveys, focus groups with department heads and staff members to look at areas that we want to improve internally ... We are working to build a very positive workplace culture here," he said.


$319,060.40 to go to J.H. Maxymillian Inc. for the Summer Street culvert replacement and related work. The town will send the funds upon receipt of $245,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds, which the ARPA Committee budgeted for the project. 


• $29,750 for assessing services for fiscal 2023.


• Committee reappointments for the town and a draft of updated committee policies.


The next Select Board is Aug. 22. 

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Berkshire Museum presents 120th: Building the Museum

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Museum announced the second installment of its 120th-anniversary celebration, an exhibition that takes visitors on a journey through the history of the Museum and the world during the 1940s, '50s, '60s, and '70s. 
Titled 120th: Building the Museum – 1939-1978, this exhibition is set to be on display from Oct. 7, 2023, through Jan. 7, 2024. 
Focused on the leadership of Stuart Henry – whose tenure as Director of the Berkshire Museum spanned a total of 39 years. This exhibition offers an opportunity to step back in time and explore the Berkshire Museum through the headlines, stories, and cultural phenomena that shaped an era. 
Under Henry's visionary guidance, the Museum not only weathered the challenges of wartime but also thrived, becoming a cultural hub for the community. 
From the formation of the Junior Naturalist Club in 1945 to the growth of the Museum's Camera Club and the filming of the 1968 NBC Children's Theater adaptation of "The Enormous Egg" by Oliver Butterworth, this exhibition captures the essence of an era marked by innovation and cultural exploration. Notably, the exhibition showcases four triceratops models designed by the renowned Louis Paul Jonas Studio, creators of the Berkshire Museum's beloved "World in Miniature" dioramas. 
A significant portion of the exhibition features artworks and objects donated to the Museum between 1939 and 1978. These contributions include pieces from A.E. Gallatin's collection of abstract art, the Spalding collection of Asian art, and the Hahn Silver Collection. By highlighting these donations, the exhibition sheds light on the enduring support and enthusiasm of the Museum's dedicated patrons. 
In addition to exploring the Museum's evolution, 120th: Building the Museum – 1939-1978 delves into the rapid growth of General Electric in Pittsfield during this period. This local industrial giant left an indelible mark on the region's population and economy, a story told through the exhibition's immersive displays and engaging narratives. 
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