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Adams Selectmen Give Thumbs Up on Paving Machine Purchase

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen last week endorsed the purchase of equipment that will allow the town to do its own street paving. 
The LeeBoy 1000G Paver and accessories comes at a cost of $147,000 that will come out of the extra $164,000 in state Chapter 90 road funds Adams received last year.  
Town Administrator Jay Green told the board that the cost of road paving and repairs had a reached a juncture that the town cannot afford. This purchase comes after several years of discussion and prior investment in other Department of Public Works equipment including an asphalt hotbox and roller. 
"We're at the point where we could not come up with a plan to get into our neighborhoods and get into our roads, because we just don't have the funding. We don't have the capacity in our budget," Green said. "What that will allow us to do is leverage equipment we already have in the DPW arsenal."
Most communities had done their own paving work years ago but gradually found it cheaper to contract out so DPW crews could concentrate on other projects. However, contracting costs have risen exponentially over the years, partly because of the requirement to pay prevailing wages. Road reconstruction is costing about $1 million a mile. 
Green and Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin said a larger paver the town had looked at a few years would not have been appropriate but this smaller one, at 13 feet, is suitable for not only smaller streets but a more ambitious project of paving East Road. 
"We had internal conversations — myself, [DPW Supervisor] Tim Cota, Eammon — we're trying to figure out what can we do to get the biggest bang for the buck? We've already discussed the high costs of putting asphalt down and road reconstruction — at the end of the day, $164,000 is not going to get us very far," he said. 
"If we're able to buy this paver, our staff is capable now of going out and actually repaving a 13-foot width. East Road is approximately 26 feet wide in most sections ... In theory, we're able to go out, grind down the sections that we have to do and pave it ourselves."
He said there was space to store the paver and that the DPW was capable of operating and maintaining the equipment. Next year's budget would also include one more position in the DPW. 
Borrowing for the paver would add on another $20,000 so the recommendation was to purchase in full in time for it to be used this year. Green said the town had also looked into grants but it no longer made sense to wait for the state or grant funding when the roads are in need of repair now. 
"But we can't come up with another way to be able to take care of our roads, if we continually wait for a helping hand from the state or for another unknown entity, we need to do this ourselves," he said. "And this is the best way to do it. This would give us that equipment to do it."
The administration has the authority to spend the money out of the Chapter 90 account but Green said he wanted the Selectmen's OK before spending that amount. The board voted 4-1, with Selectmen Joseph Nowak in opposition, saying he felt that the time needed for paving would take the DPW crew off other projects. 
"I've got very mixed feelings about this purchase," Nowak said. "There's a lot involved in it. And it's kind of labor intensive. And I worry if we get this in all of our manpower is out doing roads, what's going to happen to the rest of our community."
Selectman John Duval noted he had been chair when discussions about a paver began, including talks with the DPW supervisor on how the department would use and schedule it. 
"Time is going by, so we're throwing options around the last couple of years. And, you know, I just feel that we just don't do anything, it's just gonna get worse and worse and worse. I think we have to do something," he said. 
The purchase was one of several road and infrastructure agenda items on Wednesday night.
Coughlin said the Park Street reconstruction and a pedestrian safety project will be rebid. The town had planned a reconstruction of Park Street to remove trolley tracks and other older elements under the main road but bids came in far above the estimated $1.6 million on hand. 
"We went back to the drawing board, we reworked the project to be a little less expensive. We went from partial-depth reclamation up here on Park Street, we've moved to a mill-and-fill type repaving," he said. Then we also made some very, very small minor changes to the crosswalk and crossing curb ramp work to help reduce costs there."
 The board was also updated about plans to partner with the town of Cheshire on a reconstruction of West Road through a MassWorks grant.
 That proposal would would repave the entire length of the road from Fred Mason in Cheshire to Friend Street, or around 4.5 miles. 
 Cheshire had approached Adams about partnering and officials in both towns are discussing which sections of road will need reclamation or just an overlay. 
"We've had some good feedback from MassDOT about us doing it as well, so we'll keep you informed and keep your fingers crossed," said Green. 

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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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