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News and events in Williamstown, Mass.

Wiliamstown Residents Raise Concerns About Water Street Housing Concept
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:47AM / Monday, August 01, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Residents who live near the site of a planned housing development on Water Street are expressing concerns about the now 28-unit project under consideration at the site of the former Grange Hall.   Architect and resident Hicks Stone was back before the board of the Affordable Housing Trust, this time with his partner, Bill Freeman, to update the panel on Wednesday on preliminary plans to build duplexes on a portion of the 6.6-acre site.   Stone began by sharing what he hoped would be welcome news for the trustees: By placing four apartments in the former Grange Hall itself and reconfiguring the layout of the duplexes, the pair now conceives 28 units

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Mount Greylock Panel Picks Designer for New Athletic Field
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:07AM / Friday, July 29, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District's Designer Selection Committee Wednesday chose CHA Architecture of Portland, Maine, as the preferred designer for a new athletic field and running track.   After interviewing representatives from CHA and SLR Consulting, the committee voted unanimously to authorize the district's administration to enter into negotiations with CHA.   The School Committee earlier this month voted to authorize the design group, which includes administrators, School Committee members and district personnel, to review responses to the district's request for proposals and make a final decision, provided that the preferred

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Williamstown Select Board Forming Charter Review Committee
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:30AM / Wednesday, July 27, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A month after town meeting took small steps to amend the town charter, the Select Board is commissioning a full-scale review of the 1956 document that provides the structure for much of town government.   At Monday's meeting, the board issued a call for nominees for a charter review committee that will be asked to engage in a more than year-long process to review and, potentially, recommend changes to the governing document.   Andy Hogeland, who along with Jeff Johnson formed a working group of the board to look at charter review, said the board would like nominations submitted to Town Hall by Aug. 15 with the hope that the Charter Review Committee

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Williamstown Police and Community Council Works to 'Shepherd' Change
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:57AM / Tuesday, July 26, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A group of more than a dozen residents are continuing the work begun by a daylong symposium on policing.   The Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships Council met in June and July to begin addressing the goals and aspirations that emerged from March's community forum at Mount Greylock Regional School.   "We had our first independent meeting in June, which was two working groups," facilitator Lucy Gerold said on Friday. "One was to finalize a drafted charter that outlines who we are and what our scope is so it gives us definition. The second thing was to take all those recommendations [from the March meeting] and prioritize

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Single Vehicle Crash in Williamstown Sends One to Hospital
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:15PM / Monday, July 25, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police are investigating a Saturday afternoon motorcycle accident on Green River Road that sent the operator to the hospital.   Police on Monday morning said Lanesborough's Keith Rarick was traveling southwest on the road, also known as Route 43. His motorcycle left the road near 839 Green River Road and struck a utility pole.   When police arrived at the scene, Rarick was conscious and alert with a cut to his head, injuries to his leg and scrapes across his body, police said.   Rarick was transported by Northern Berkshire EMS to the Berkshire Medical Center main campus in Pittsfield, police said.   Williamstown Fire Department also

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Williamstown Zoning Board Again Continues Hearing on Drug Rehab Facility
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:23AM / Monday, July 25, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday voted to again continue a public hearing on the application to operate a chemical dependency rehabilitation facility in the former Sweet Brook Nursing Home on Cold Spring Road.   The board delayed a decision to a third meeting hoping that the applicant, Williamstown Recovery Realty LLC, and abutter Sweetwood retirement community, could reach an understanding about the fencing and landscaping plans for the new drug treatment center.   Sweetwood attorney Karla Chaffee told the board that her client has had productive conversations with Williamstown Recovery, but the two sides still have outstanding

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Members Question Review of Its Purpose
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:02AM / Friday, July 22, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Members of the town's diversity committee Monday pushed back against an effort by the Select Board to evaluate and, perhaps, recast the scope of work for the 2-year-old advisory committee.   Select Board Chair Hugh Daley began that effort with a joint meeting of his board with the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee on June 23 with an agenda that included, "Discussion of DIRE Committee purpose, process, personnel and performance."   "We are trying to make progress on the issues confronted by the DIRE Committee," Daley said in introducing the topic at the June 23 joint meeting. "In my belief, one way to frame

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Mount Greylock School Committee OKs Selection Process for Field Designer
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:41PM / Tuesday, July 19, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock School Committee last week moved a step closer to hiring a designer to make plans for a new athletic field and track on the Cold Spring Road campus.   The district has been discussing the project in various iterations since shortly after it began moving forward with an addition/renovation project at the middle/high school that concluded in 2018.   The current plan is to be able to build a new natural grass multisport playing field, ringed by a running track, using proceeds from a $5 million capital gift from Williams College.   On Thursday, the School Committee appointed a five-person designer selection committee to review

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Williamstown's FY23 Tax Levy Hiked to Pay for WPD Settlement
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:07PM / Monday, July 18, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Select Board and Finance Committee agreed last month to raise the fiscal 2023 tax levy by $270,000 to pay for an out-of-court settlement with a former sergeant in the Williamstown Police Department.   The additional quarter million dollars to be raised through property taxes is over and above the appropriations approved by the annual town meeting last month.   The decision was made at a meeting during which the two panels jointly agreed to several FY22 budget adjustments to cover costs arising from the fallout of an August 2020 whistleblower lawsuit filed by then Sgt. Scott McGowan.   Taxpayers will foot the $270,000 bill through taxation in

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Mount Greylock, Lanesborough Hope to Use ARPA Funds for Boiler Replacement
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com
05:57PM / Friday, July 15, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Mount Greylock School District is working with the Town of Lanesborough on a plan to replace a failing boiler at the elementary school using American Rescue Plan Act funds.   Superintendent Jason McCandless Thursday told the School Committee that one of the two boilers original to the 20-year-old PreK-6 school “has had a system failure.”   “Our boiler folks … said with the parts we could bring in, it’s unlikely they’ll form the efficient seal needed to have the boiler work efficiently, or perhaps work at all,” McCandless said at the committee’s July meeting.   The good news is that Lanesborough

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Williamstown Summer Sundays Returns this Weekend
Community submission,
02:02PM / Friday, July 15, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Williamstown Cultural District will hold the first of two Summer Sundays events on July 17 from 2 to 5 p.m.   The event, which has appeared in various incarnations over the years, will, this time around, showcase local performers, artists and vendors this weekend and again on Sept. 18.   The festival will be held on Spring Street, rain or shine with a full range of entertainment and activity, indoors and out. Highlights for July 17 include:   ♦ Artist Jared Gelormino creating a sculpture onsite, using found objects, original ceramic pieces, paint and foam. At 4:30 p.m., he will present a “talk back” for any curious onlookers. This

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Williamstown Considering Land Conservation Request for Sweet Brook Farm
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:46AM / Wednesday, July 13, 2022
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A local family farm is asking the Select Board to let Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation preserve a tract that is integral to the farm operation.   About 10 acres on Oblong Road in South Williamstown currently is under contract to be sold to a buyer interested in residential development on the parcel.   But the acreage in question has, since the 1980s, been conserved under Chapter 61 of Massachusetts General Law, which allows landowners to pay a reduced property tax bill to the town.   Before the current owner can sell the property for development, the town, by law, has the right of first refusal to buy the land at the negotiated price ($745,000)

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