ADAMS - A new Board of Selectmen convened and celebrated job growth Wednesday, as TOG Manufacturing Company has struck an agreement with the town to move their operation to the Adams Corporate Park.
"Due to this deal, there's going to be 45 new jobs coming to Adams and potentially more over a longer period," Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said of the arrangement. "Ultimately, our corporate park will now be full apart from [one lot] next to CTC [Conserve Thru Control]. It's a really big win for Northern Berkshire."
The company, a maker of precision machined components used in the power generation and defense industries, began in 1982 in Pittsfield and moved to North Adams in 1987, where it remained.
However, TOG has outgrown its 24,000-square-foot facility in the Hardman Industrial Park in North Adams, and after months of negotiations with the town, has settled on the 79,000-square-foot space of the former Novtex building in the Adams Corporate Park for a planned expansion. The business will make its move this summer.
The agreement is for seven years and involves incentives on both sides. TOG will enjoy state and local tax breaks but must meet certain requirements.
So long as TOG invests $700,000 into building renovations, retains 45 full-time jobs and adds six more within five years, they'll benefit from a 100 percent property tax exemption in years one and two, 75 percent in year three, 50 percent in year four and 25 percent in years five, six and seven. The agreement is a Special Tax Assessment Agreement, enabled by an earlier designation of the building as an Economic Opportunity Area, done by Selectmen last month.
It involves three parties, who all benefit: Adams gets a business, the owner of the building, Meehan & Co., gets a tenant, and TOG gets tax breaks.
Before the deal, the company had all but committed to a Pittsfield relocation, according to North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright.
"It was pretty much carved in stone," Alcombright said in an interview Wednesday. "We just didn't have a site [in North Adams] for them ... While I love our friends in Pittsfield, I called John Butler to see if there was something we could do to keep the jobs here."
He added, "The big win at the end of the day is the jobs stayed in Northern Berkshire. Kudos to Adams for following through."
Butler thanked Alcombright for his assistance and support at the meeting. The jobs pay well, he said.
"These aren't entry-level jobs - they're for machinists, technicians, engineers - quality jobs," Butler said.
In other business at Wednesday's meeting, Selectmen approved 27 warrant articles to send to Town Meeting next month on June 17.
Apart from the town's various spending items, two citizens petitions from Adams Agricultural Fair and the C.T. Plunkett Teacher Group request $5,000 and $7,500 for repairs to Bowe Field's cattle barn and to support the Wacky World playground project, respectively. The latter project aims to replace an aged playground structure on the elementary school's grounds.
In addition to welcoming new Selectmen Joseph Nowak and Richard Blanchard to the board, Wednesday saw an annual reorganization take place.
John Duval, entering his second year on the board, was voted the new chairman and Michael Ouellette the vice chairman.
"I really think we can do something in this town," Nowak said. "We've got a lot of things to iron out and I want people to work together. It's the best thing we can do as a community."
Both he and Blanchard thanked those who supported them in Monday's election.