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OTT Taxi Told to 'Cease Operations'
Staff Reports,
05:37PM / Sunday, December 31, 2023
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A local taxi company was told by the city to close its doors at 8 a.m. on New Year's Day after failing to find a new office location. 
The closure of OTT Taxi was announced as "temporary" through Facebook posts but not on its website. 
The company has apparently been operating without a permanent location since at least October. According to the city, owner John Lord has told it of a half-dozen potential sites but none have panned out.
Interim Police Chief Mark Bailey informed Lord in a letter dated Dec. 18 that his request for the latest location, the back room at the Xtra Mart, was rejected because the owner of that property has not amended its special permit to allow another business to operate. 
"You currently possess a taxicab operator's license to operate from an address on River Street, and you are not authorized to operate any portion of this business at any other location, temporarily or otherwise," Bailey wrote.
"With this, you are to cease operating within the City of North Adams effective 1/1/24 at 8AM until an appropriate location has been approved."
One employee claimed on Facebook that the company's lost out on potential spaces after informing Inspection Services of their location. The city is "ridiculous, corrupt, & just plain out disgusting," wrote Nate McMillian, saying legal action could be pursued.
OTT had been operating from 104 River St. until about October. In an email, Mayor Jennifer Macksey listed a number of locations that Lord had told the city he was moving to: 61 Main, the old Greylock Federal Credit Union drive-through, Blackinton Street, Duke's lumberyard and 54 Elmwood Ave. 
He did not submit an application or provide leases for any of these locations, she said.
"We just want him to find a suitable place to run his business from," she wrote. "We have been patient with him since October about finding a suitable space." 
She pointed out that the city has not received any complaints about the taxi company's drivers. (The company and owner have been called on the carpet for operational violations.)
The city's zoning ordinances require businesses to apply for permits to operate and to comply with building codes. The city's taxi ordinance also allows for vetting by the police chief and for the City Council to give final approval. 
"We are hoping that Mr. Lord finds a place to land soon but, in the meantime, he cannot operate without a set location," Macksey said. "We have been working with him since he left his original location on 104 River Street but he has failed to land in a place that is zoned correctly and produce a lease." 
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