|North Adams Housing Authority Welcomes New Member |
|By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff|
01:24PM / Wednesday, November 28, 2018
|Rachel Branch, left, joins Housing Authority Commissioners Chairman James 'Matt' Neville, Colin Todd, Christine Naughton and Richard Lavigne, and Executive Director Jennifer Hohn.|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Housing Authority Board of Commissioners on Monday welcomed new member Rachel Branch.
Attending her first meeting after being appointed by Mayor Thomas Bernard, Branch said she was excited to be part of the commission.
"This is really fun for me because my grandfather was on the Housing Authority in the '50s," Branch said. "I am happy to be here."
Branch replaces former member Chris Tremblay.
Tremblay often was unable to attend meetings or called in remotely. Executive Director Jennifer Hohn said she had asked Tremblay what his future intentions were and was later sent a letter of resignation.
Hohn said she has served on the Fair Housing Commission with Branch.
"We have a pretty good working relationship with each other, so I am excited to have her on board," she said.
Branch will serve the remainder of Tremblay's term, which expires in July 2019.
In other business, Hohn said she had no update on the Sun Cleaners property and that the environmental services company still must conduct a final drilling.
"I have no update and we are still waiting on them to do the final digging," she said. "They have done some of the testings and one of the tests came back higher than normal levels, so they have to do more digging."
The commission, which also serves as the board for Housing Opportunities Inc., plans to transfer all the HOI assets to the city and dissolve the 30-year-old program created to help first-time homeowners.
The 111 River St. property is the last asset HOI needs to transfer to the city. However, the transfer has been pending for over a year because the city first wanted to test for contamination at the former dry cleaners.
The Housing Authority will participate in an urban tree program and plant trees at Greylock Valley Apartments.
"They have 500 species of trees they are going to be using," Hohn said. "We certainly could use some prettier foliage over there."
She said the planting would likely take place in the spring and the tenants would be involved.