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Dalton Planning Board Establishes Sidewalk Subcommittee

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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DALTON, Mass. — The Planning Board established a sidewalk subcommittee during its meeting last week. 
 
The subcommittee will review the proposed sidewalk bylaw amendment that was not acted upon during the annual town meeting on May 7. 
 
The amendment proposes amending the town bylaw to make concrete sidewalks the standard.
 
During the meeting, Todd Logan, the citizen petitioner for the sidewalk amendment, reiterated what he had previously said during several meetings — that concrete sidewalks should be the standard — and presented the steps he had already taken while developing this amendment. 
 
"The way the proper way to do this is to have a subcommittee and have at least two people from the Planning Board, and you can have as many people as you want that are experts … and write the bylaw in the format that matches our bylaws," Planner Zack McCain said during the meeting. 
 
"Then the whole Planning Board will review it, and then we'd have a public hearing to let everybody have their input on it. And then we would make the changes based on the input and then have it go to the annual town meeting."
 
McCain is the voter who motioned during the town meeting to table the article until a public hearing. 
 
During the Planning Board meeting, McCain said he does not believe an amendment like this is necessary but expressed an interest in being on the committee. 
 
"Personally, I don't think we need another bylaw. I think the town does fine when it can use concrete sidewalks then it does," McCain said. 
 
Residents interested in being on the subcommittee can contact Logan, who will attend the next board meeting to determine when the committee will be constituted. 
 
The subcommittee would meet once a week, McCain said. The amendment should be drafted in the format of the town’s bylaws. 
 
Another thing that the subcommittee can discuss is that the town has new subdivision bylaws in which something can be added that sidewalks have to be concrete, he said. 
 
During the annual town meeting, several voters expressed favor of the amendment, citing concretes longer life expectancy, better safety, walkability, and it being better for the environment. 
 
Others expressed concerns regarding the proposed language. 
 
"From the strict engineering point of view, cement concrete is an oxymoron," voter Thomas King said during the town meeting. 
 
The reason being, from an engineering point of view, cement is any binding substance, and concrete is any hard substance formed by small pieces of material being encapsulated in cement, King said. 
 
"It really should say, I get what [Logan is saying] he would prefer the sidewalks that he made of Portland cement and aggregate concrete, and you should rewrite the terms in that way," he said. 
 
"... From the engineering point of view, bituminous asphalt is referred to as bituminous asphalt concrete, and macadam, which is the oldest flexible road paving system invented, is referred to as asphalt and aggregate concrete."
 
In the law, you have to be strict with the wording, King said. 

Tags: ad hoc committee,   sidewalks,   

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Post 68 Seniors Top Westfield

WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Matt Burega pitched a complete game Tuesday to lead the Pittsfield Post 68 Seniors to a 4-1 win over Westfield in American Legion Baseball action at Bullens Field.
 
Jack Reed doubled, and Ben Jacob hit a two-run single for Post 68.
 
Pittsfield (1-0) is home against Northampton Post 28 on Wednesday evening at Clapp Park.
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