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Williamstown Lacking Candidates for May Election

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — With two weeks left to submit completed nomination papers for May's town election, just two individuals have taken out papers for the six seats that will be on that ballot.
Town Clerk Nicole Beverly reported Monday morning that only incumbent Andy Hogeland has taken out papers for one of two seats on the Select Board that will be decided in the May 9 election.
In the race to fill one year of an unexpired term on the Planning Board, only Benjamin Greenfield has taken out papers.
Neither potential candidate had yet returned papers by Monday morning with the required signatures to get a spot on the ballot.
In addition to the two three-year seats on the Select Board and the one-year seat on the Planning Board, the town election will have a full five-year seat on the Planning Board and two three-year seats on the Milne Library Board of Trustees on the ballot.
Nomination papers were released on Feb. 6 and are due back with the required signatures by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21.
Candidates need to secure at least 31 signatures of registered voters to earn a spot on the ballot. Beverly suggests that candidates aim for more signatures in case some cannot be verified by the Board of Registrars.

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Williamstown Housing Trust Seeks to Resolve Habitat Project Issue

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The board of the town's Affordable Housing Trust on Wednesday agreed in principle to a plan to address an issue that has been a sticking point for a proposed subdivision on Summer Street.
The AHT has been working with Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity to develop a 1.75-acre parcel with four houses and an access road.
Part of the plan Habitat developed with civil engineer Guntlow and Associates is a rain garden that would be part of the subdivision's stormwater management plan.
Among the issues raised by critics of the subdivision is the question of who ultimately would be responsible for maintaining the rain garden. It is one of the items mentioned in an abutter's appeal to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, which Summer Street resident Jeffrey Parkman has asked to review an order of conditions issued by the town's Conservation Commission.
On Wednesday, Affordable Housing Trust Chair Thomas Sheldon laid out for his colleagues a proposed memorandum of understanding between the town and Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.
Under the terms of the MOU, the non-profit would maintain the rain garden — or detention basin — for three years after it becomes operational. At the end of that three-year period, the town would inspect the basin to make sure it is "in good repair and is functioning as designed," and, if it is, the town would accept the rain garden as part of the right of way associated with the access road and take responsibility for its maintenance going forward.
The MOU stipulates that the town's determination of functionality, "will not be unreasonably withheld."
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