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Adams Street Fair Committee co-Chairs Leanne O'Brien and Joseph Martin, right, present a $1,700 check to the Alert Hose Company on Wednesday. The fair raised $6,800 for first-responders, including the Police Department.
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The Adams Forest Wardens also received $1,700.
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Adams Ambulance was given a $1,700 donation and the committee also gave $500 to PopCares.

Adams Street Fair Donates $6,800 to Town First Responders

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — Following July's second annual Adams Street Fair, the Adams Street Fair Committee has donated a total of $6,800 to the town's four first-responder organizations. 

The committee presented checks, each worth $1,700, to the Adams Police Department, Alert Hose Company, Adams Forest Wardens and Adams Ambulance at Wednesday's Board of Selectmen meeting. An additional $500 donation went to Williamstown-based charity PopCares, which supports cancer patients in Northern Berkshire County and Southern Vermont.

"It was quite hot this year, but for the amount of people that came out, we were very pleased," said Joseph Martin, chair of the Adams Street Fair Committee. "Everyone had a great time. All the vendors had a great time and we had no big issues." 

Police Chief K. Scott Kelley thanked the committee for the work it put into the fair. He also thanked the community for supporting the event. 

"Your committee's generosity is well noted and this is unbelievable," he said. "And as we did last year, we're going to earmark this for something that will not only better our community, but our police department." 

Board Vice Chair Christine Hoyt thanked the first responders present at the fair, who she said were able to provide free water to attendees to help with the heat. 

"A wonderful job, Joe, by you and your entire committee," she said. "It was nice to see you, in the end, come back this year and talk about being a bigger event. And wow, it really was a much bigger event."

In other business, Town Administrator Jay Green updated the board on the Howland Avenue resurfacing project, noting preliminary work had begun. He said the state Department of Transportation still anticipates work to be mostly, if not entirely, complete in the Fall. 

"We're hoping that, at a minimum, we'll have a base coat for the Fall to get us through the Winter, with a final coat in the spring," he said. "But as of today, they do anticipate doing the entire project sometime this Fall, so we're still on track for that. We'll keep everybody informed." 

Green also provided updates on ongoing work on Commercial Street, which he said should be mostly complete by October. A smaller road project on Cook Street, which Green said will be done primarily in-house by the Department of Public Works, should also begin sometime in October. 

Green mentioned the controlled intersection at the center of Commercial Street will now have an infrared-based detecting system above ground. He said this system should work better than the original plan for the intersection, a pressure-based system installed under the road. 

"We're using approximately $30,000 worth of chapter 90 money to have that reengineered and redesigned and rebuilt that will be a better way to control that intersection numbers and not risk opening up the roadway," he said. 

The board approved facility use and one-day liquor and entertainment licenses for Ramblefest, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9. 


The board approved the appointment of Natasha Bordeaux to the Agricultural Commission. Bordeaux is also a member of the Conservation Commission. 

Tags: donations,   first responders,   

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North County Communities Close to Hiring Shared HR Director

By Brian Rhodes

ADAMS, Mass. — The town is close to picking a candidate for a grant-funded human resources director, which will split time between Adams, North Adams and Williamstown. 


The Board of Selectmen's Personnel Sub-committee met on Monday to discuss the position and several other personnel matters. In March, the three communities received a $100,000 grant from the state's Community Compact Cabinet Efficiency and Regionalization program to fund the position


Town Administrator Jay Green said two candidates were interviewed for the job, with expectations to make a formal offer to one of them soon, pending final approval from officials in North Adams. 


"It's going to be a large undertaking for whoever is in the job. But I think, at the end of the day, we will provide the communities with somebody paying attention to this stuff," Green said. "... I think a lot of the retention and recruitment issues; all three communities have those issues. So all three communities are looking forward to having the person to be able to work on that." 


Green said each of the three communities has specific needs that a human resources director will provide. For Adams, he explained that keeping the town's human resources policies up to date is a significant need. 


"This person will work for us directly, and they will be a resource for us," Green said. The three communities, he explained, have to keep the position funded until at least Fiscal Year 2024. 


In other business, the group discussed preliminary job descriptions for an assistant Treasurer/Collector and assistant Town Accountant. These positions would replace the current financial assistant titles and would be a title and job description change rather than a personnel change. 


"We have too many high-level people doing too low-level work because we're not staffed enough in that level," Green said, noting the town expects the title changes to be ready to begin the next fiscal year. "A lot of those positions have been eliminated over the years. The work doesn't go away, but the work just gets kicked up." 


Town Accountant Crystal Wojcik said the new titles would allow the people in those positions to have more training opportunities and take on more responsibilities for the town. One example she gave is a conference from the state's Municipal Accountants and Auditors Association, which Financial Assistant Ashley Satko cannot currently attend. 


"I can go to that, but Ashley can't because her title is not Assistant Town Accountant," she said. "You either have to be a Town Accountant or an Assistant Town Accountant. I believe the same rules go for the treasurer's association." 


Another new position the group discussed was assistant director of Community Development. Rebecca Furgeson, the current program manager for the department, would take on the new role. 


"[Rebecca] has a very unique skill set with project management that I can't replicate. And she has capacity to take on additional work," said Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin. "We've had incredibly good luck with grants over the past year. I think we've gotten basically everything we've apply for it, and so there's a need to have a good set of eyes and sound judgment in terms of managing those projects." 


The committee also discussed the part-time administrative assistant for Inspectional Services. Green said he is hopeful the position could eventually become full-time, but budget considerations do not currently allow it.  


  • The committee discussed a potential code of conduct for town employees and others involved in town business. Board Vice-chair Christine Hoyt said she researched conduct policies for other communities and wants to do more work to update those policies in Adams. 


"I'd like to explore this more and come forward with a code of conduct that is all-encompassing," she said. "... We hold our employees to a standard, but we haven't necessarily put a standard of conduct in place for elected officials for the public." 


Green said the current provisions for the town only apply to town employees, not elected or other officials.


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