ADAMS -- Selectmen prefer keeping for-profit entities out of Adams Visitors Center, they said at a workshop meeting Wednesday night.
The discussion followed a report from Town Administrator Jonathan Butler on several for-profit groups propositioning the town for use of the center. One entity reportedly sought to use the space one night a week, expressing a willingness to compensate.
Selectmen were generally against the idea, though they agreed that a fee structure should be in place. Future proposals, they said, could be taken on a case-by-case basis.
Butler feared commitments with other entities could "handcuff the space." When former tenant Berkshire Visitors Bureau (BVB) exited the building back in May, leaving it to the town, it was intended for meetings and other functions.
"My concern is that it's a town space," Butler said. " ... I just don't think it's appropriate."
Selectman Michael Ouellette agreed, dismissing modest potential revenue in favor of maintaining the building's availability.
"I'm not interested in renting out town space to for-profits," Ouellette said. "I don't think we're in that business."
Since BVB's departure, the town contracted Burke Construction for an interior project that doubled the size of the center's conference room. On Monday, the Council on Aging moved into the building.
Selectmen's Chair Arthur "Skip" Harrington and Selectman John Duval remained open to
A second discussion at the meeting was generated by Duval, who requested that the town's various department heads make more frequent appearances at Selectmen's meetings.
Duval said regular meetings with lighter agendas lend themselves to scheduling department head status updates. According to Duval, the measure, coupled with a quarterly budget update he's also asked for, could help Selectmen catch issues in their infancy, make budget adjustments and keep residents and officials better informed of the town's workings.
Butler called Duval's suggestions "good ideas," and said he'd make a pitch to department heads to come in for updates at certain meetings. He also agreed to put together quarterly punch lists about the budget process.
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