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Dalton Board of Health Votes to Postpone Demolition

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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DALTON, Mass. — The Board of Health voted to postpone a demolition permit for 77 High St. during its meeting Monday evening. 
The 1950s single-family home was condemned last fall after the building department determined it was unsafe because of collapsed flooring in certain areas. It is considered a public health and safety hazard.
The house is currently vacant but a lot items are still inside. An asbestos surveyor has gone into the building to attempt to complete an inspection but could not unless it was cleaned out so they can see all the walls and floors. 
Officials have been attempting to limit the amount of time people are in the house unless it is necessary, Town Counsel Nicole Costanzo said.
She informed the board it had two options. One, it could wait until the asbestos survey is completed to approve the demolition permit, or two, approve the permit without a survey and with the stipulation that the homeowner is informed that they must comply with the state Department of Environmental Protections regulations. 
Under the latter option, it would be up to the DEP to enforce these regulations, not the town. 
However, because it is unclear if there is any asbestos, the board voted in favor of postponing the permit until the survey is complete to ensure public safety in this residential area.
If an inspection is unable to be completed, the inspector or contractor will have to provide a certification to demonstrate how that material will be treated in compliance with DEP regulations.
In other news, the board voted to: 
Set an annual fee of $50 for establishments who wish to have a commissary kitchen. 
Prior to this, the town did not have a billing option for a commissary kitchen but the Stationary Factory reached out to them expressing its interest in having one. 
The kitchen would only be used for warming meals cooked in caterers' commercial kitchens. 
The building and fire inspector certified this as long as they are bringing the meals in and warming the meal, not cooking. 
• Require cottage residential kitchens to get a manager certification. A cottage or retail residential kitchen is a home kitchen used to make retail items such as a home bakery. 
• Implement a $100 annual mobile home trailer park fee to be paid for by the owner after finding out that other towns also have this fee.
• Apply for a Berkshire Public Health Alliance grant in the amount of $3,500 for a noise level machine, Safe Serve trainings, equipment and supplies, and other education material such as posters. 

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Construction Grant Changes No Longer Align with Berkshire Atheneum's Goals

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass — The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has adjusted this round of its construction grant program, no longer aligning with the Berkshire Athenaeum's goals. 
This grant round is really no longer a renovation program, library Director Alex Reczkowski said during a trustees meeting last week.
Interested applicants need at least two locations that they would be interested in pursuing as possible libraries or locations, not just the current library, he said. Acceptance of the award is once every 30 years. 
Although the library has some physical upgrades to the building in its strategic plan, it does not have enough data for a bigger project than that, Reczkowski said. 
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