Adams May Use Centennial Celebration Funds for Historical Preservation

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass.— The town will consider tapping leftover funds from the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration to preserve historic buildings and landmarks.
During a selectmen's meeting on Feb. 21, the selectmen discussed possible uses for the nearly $80,000 left over from the now-dissolved Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee.
The conversation came about after Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin requested $5,000 to fill out a $30,000 matching grant from Mass Historic to develop a preservation plan for the Quaker Meeting House.
Selectman Joseph Nowak, a former member of the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee, suggested tapping the Centennial Celebration fund, if possible.
"Susan B. Anthony and the Quaker Meeting House go hand in hand in my opinion," he said. 
Plans for a town-wide, celebration marking Susan B. Anthony's 200th birthday and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment go back to 2017. The Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee was formed soon after to organize a yearlong celebration in 2020.
Anthony was born on East Road in 1820.
The group raised over $300,000 in hopes of holding a parade, festival and erecting a bronze statue of Anthony, among other things
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic halted many of these grand plans, however, the statue was still revealed in 2021 to much fanfare.
Town Administrator Jay Green said he had the same thought and has already had conversations with members of the now-dissolved committee. He said the committee turned the money over to the town with the stipulation that it be used for very specific purposes, including maintaining the Anthony statue.   
"Frankly those funds should not be in a private account. We have just been negligent to transfer them over," Green told the selectmen adding they could vote on the matter that night.
.He stated $80,000 exceeds the necessary amount for the statue's maintenance, and it would be wise for the town to allocate the funds to address other historical sites and properties in need in the town.
"We have historic buildings, but we have other buildings and roads we have to maintain and not enough money," he said. "This is a great suggestion and a great way to use it. We just have to think about it."
Nowak then became concerned noting he was unaware these conversations took place. He was also fearful that the money would be placed in some sort of general fund the town could use for whatever it wanted.
"I want this money to be protected and not used as extra money when you want something," he said. "There needs to be a promise that the money won't go to some sort of slush fund. That would be my stipulation because we worked real hard to get that money."
Green agreed and said the funds would likely only be able to be used with town meeting approval. He added that the town would also have to work out strict guidelines so it is clear where the money can be used.
He then pushed back on Nowak's accusations that his conversations about the money were inappropriate and felt it was in his jurisdiction to hold these sorts of conversations with the finance and community development departments.
He added that he spoke with town council Edmund St. John III, who also served on the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee, about the matter and noted that he agreed. Although he did ask that the town first run the concept by the Attorney General's Office.
Nowak then made an about-face rescinding his offer to use the money.
"I am not very confident now in my statement about giving the $5,000 knowing there have been conversations about the $80,000," Nowak said. "We worked awfully hard to get that money and among other things, it was for maintaining the statute. I would like to rescind my offer right now until we know where that money is."
The selectmen took no action on the item because it was not on the agenda.
In regards to the Quaker Meeting House preservation plan, Coughlin said the plan will build off a 2020 needs study to form an actionable list of construction needs at the Quaker Meeting House.
"We hope to translate that report into construction documents and specifications that will allow us to apply for other grant funds," he said. "The building study is great, but it is not actionable. We need to go that extra step to create that preservation plan."
He added that the plan will open the town up for more grant funding.
Green added that the historic building located in the Maple Street Cemetery is difficult to work on. He said that it also has been difficult to find funding sources to maintain the property.
Coughlin said the town would be on the hook for $15,000. He said the Historical Society has offered $5,000 and Community Development has allocated $5,000 towards the grant. Before the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee discussion, Coughlin suggested tapping the capital reserve fund.
The selectmen voted to allow Green to enter into an agreement with Mass Historic. Decisions on final funding sources can be made at a later date.
The application is due midmarch. 

Tags: historic preservation,   Susan B. Anthony,   

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BArT Announces Third Quarter Honor Roll

ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology (BArT) Charter Public School has announced the students who made the honor roll for the third quarter of the 2023-2024 school year. 
Students who earned 80 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "Honors." Students who earned 90 percent or above in all of their classes received the distinction of "High Honors."
Academic courses at BArT are aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks for the appropriate grade level and include all standards deemed necessary for a complete, college-preparatory, middle and high school education.
Students in Grade 6 who earned High Honors are Abigail Betti, Jaydn Bolus-Strawbridge, Majbrit Carpenter, Bailee Cimini, Kason Corkins, Alex Demary, Norah Duffy, Noah Hall, Riley Hitchcock, Kourtney Hoang, Tristan Larkin, Delroy Leard, Morgan Legrand, Ian Lloyd, Allanah McCabe, Dante McClerklin, Joey Nocher, Stephen Nyamehen, Cooper Olimpo, Gustavo Perez, Rufus Quirke de Jong, Isabella Rosales, Armani Roy, Niyah Scipio, Emma Sherman, Isabella Silva, Paige Tetreault, and Kevin Toomey.
Students in Grade 6 who earned Honors are Daniel Aguilar, Liam Connors, Audrey Costigan, Zoey Dudek-Linnehan, David Fernandez, Mason Goodermote, Harmony Greco-Melendez, Sakora Knight, Anelia Lang, Miah Morgan-Enos, Aiyanah Roy, Maxwell Stolzberg, and Patrick Wells Vidal.
Students in Grade 7 who earned High Honors are Mary Mame Akua Asare, Paige Bartlett, Madalyn Benson, Demitri Burnham, Anastasia Carty, Vincente Choque, McKenna Cramer, Kierra Dearstyne, Deandra Hage, Ashley Heck, Callie Meyette, Quinlan Nesbit, Hadley Richard, Jayden Ruopp, Kie Sherman, Gabriel Thomas, Edrisa Touray, and Tyler Williams.
Students in Grade 7 who earned Honors are Samuel Bellows, Joshua Codding, Addison Cooper, Ava DeVylder, Wyatt Drosehn, Emil Gehlot, Roger LaRocca, Hadley Madole, Maddison Moore, Alexis Munson, Leafy Murphy, Chris-Raphael Natama, Anthony Salta, Althea Schneider, Aiden Smith, Jaden Wells-Vidal, Kyler Wick, and Mckenzie Witto.
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