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North Adams Finds Buyer for Salt Yard; Sale of Pownal Land Resurfaces
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:29AM / Saturday, August 19, 2017
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City councilors last year on a tour of the salt shed.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Another city property has a buyer: The salt yard. 
Mayor Richard Alcombright will ask the City Council on Tuesday to accept a bid of $50,000 on the 2.55 acre property, well below its appraised value of $125,000. 
John Duquette Jr. of Berkshire County Construction, which operates across the street from the Ashland Street property, submitted the bid. The land and a couple buildings is in an industrial zone; the appraisers wrote that it was worth more if the buildings were demolished. Choquette plans to use the property for equipment and material storage. 
The mayor in his communication to the council said he was excited about the opportunity to sell the salt yard and asked the council to act favorably to allow the sale to move forward. 
The salt yard is one five municipal properties put up for sale recently. The council last month approved the sale of the Windsor Mill on Union Street; the City Yard, on Ashland Street, reportedly has a serious buyer. Notre Dame Church and School are also for sale, as is the now vacant Sullivan School, which is being eyed as a temporary location for Clarksburg School should that town approve a new building project. 
The City Yard and salt yard, along with several other public works departments, are being consolidated into the former anodizing plant at Hodges Cross Road that the city purchased last year. 
Alcombright will also ask the council, again, to declare some 220 acres in Pownal, Vt., as surplus so it can be sold. 
The City Council had rejected the idea in 2013, although it approved advertising another 400 acres in North Adams and Stamford, Vt., to replenish the land sales account. 
At the time, John Barrett III, then a councilor, had strongly objected to the sale, believing the Pownal land bisected by Broad Brook would rise in value. He insisted it could be worth a million dollars for residential development. During his administration as mayor, the city sold off 3,400 acres of the Broad Brook watershed to the U.S. Forest Service in 2005 for $3.5 million.
The land has no roads or other infrastructure and its tax assessment of $378,300 has not changed from four years ago; the city's tax bill, however, has gone up about $400 a year to $7,200.  
The mayor is asking that the council declare the land surplus property since it no longer serves a municipal purpose. The land had once been a protection for the Broad Brook watershed but the city has not used that has a water source years. 
Also on Tuesday's agenda is a request to transfer $4,000 from the Tinker Fund, a private endowment by the Tinker family for the upkeep of Hill Side Cemetery, to the cemetery account to further the efforts of the Hill Side Restoration group. The group of volunteers lead by Roger Eurbin has been repairing and resetting stones in the historic cemetery. 
A new ordinance removing to metered parking spots on Ashland Street will also come before the council, which rejected a change in process for eliminating parking spots it felt would be too confusing in the end. 
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