Dalton Planning Board OKs Gravel Company Permit

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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DALTON, Mass. — The Planning Board approved the renewal of Nichols Sand and Gravel's special permit for earth removal. 
 
The company, located at 190 Cleveland Road, operates a gravel pit there. 
 
The hours of operation will remain 7 to 4 p.m. The commission approved owner Paul Nichols' request to allow trucks to depart the property in either direction. 
 
Nichols has to apply for renewal of the special permit every year. The previous permit required the truck to exit the property to the right.
 
It makes more sense to go left if truck drivers have to go to the Pittsfield area, Nichols said. He has talked to the residents in the area and they are agreeable to the change. 
 
Former residents requested this stipulation nearly 16 years ago to reduce the number of trucks using the residential street to avoid disturbing the quality of life and neighborhood. 
 
There weren't any residents present during the meeting who expressed concerns regarding this change.
 
There was one neighbor who previously sent a letter to the town expressing concerns about how allowing the trucks to turn left would change the character of the neighborhood and was a safety concern for the kids getting on the bus, board Chair Andrew Perenick said. 
 
Since then this neighbor has left and there are not as many kids in the neighborhood. All of the letters the town has received expressed being in favor of this change, he said. 
 
Nichols told the Traffic Commission during its last meeting that there would be the same amount of trucks in the area. The only difference is that the traffic will be dispersed. 
 
One board member commented that it is better for him to turn left because it is less wear and tear on the bridge. 
 
Nichols highlighted that he communicates with neighbors to ensure the truck divers are going slow in the neighborhood. 
 
He mentioned that his wife keeps horses on their property, and if the drivers go too fast, it scares them.
 
If the truck drivers go too fast in the neighborhood they are not allowed to get materials at his business, Nichols said.

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Lanesborough Has Hot, Quiet Election Day

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Voting was slow but steady at Lanesborough Town Hall.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town had a steady and sweltering election day that saw Deborah Maynard elected to the Select Board. 
 
Maynard outpolled Joseph Trybus 181-87 to fill the seat left vacant by longtime board member John Goerlach.
 
About halfway through polling hours, about 150 people had turned out in the 90-degree weather to cast votes for the Select Board, Finance Committee, Planning Board, library trustee, and town moderator. In total, about 400 votes were cast out of the 2,515 registered voters, or about 16 percent.
 
"It's been kind of slow but steady," poll worker Sheila Parks said. "No exciting news, which is good."
 
Town Clerk Ruth Knysh guessed that many would vote after work. Polls opened at noon at Town Hall and closed at 8 p.m.
 
"It's going great. It's been steady since we opened the doors at noontime. No issues at all," she said. "So we're hoping for smooth sailing until eight o'clock tonight."
 
Earlier in the day, there was road construction in front of the town offices that could have been a deterrent, she observed.
 
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