ADAMS -- A much-awaited 1.1 megawatt solar array at the old town landfill on East Road, in the works since 2010, is under construction.
Town Administrator Jonathan Butler announced the beginning of work there at a Selectmen's meeting this week, saying the town would soon begin realizing savings from the renewable energy project, initially supposed to be finished in late 2011.
"We expect [the project] to be completed and operational by August," Butler said.
The town was powerless while it awaited the start of work as National Grid and the developer, Tecta Solar, debated over the "interconnection agreement" -- the contract between the two parties.
As a result, officials had to ask the Finance Committee for extra funds in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to cover the cost of savings that had been built into the budget assuming a completed project, $75,000 in this fiscal year.
These savings are estimated to be $2.3 million over the life of the 15-year lease, or roughly $150,000 per year.
In other business, the town learned of additional cost-cutting when estimates on Adams Free Library repairs from Austin Design Inc. came in roughly $700,000 less than anticipated.
Needed repairs -- comprising in large part roof and facade work, but also accessibility, electrical and air conditioning upgrades, and switching the building's heating system to natural gas -- are estimated at $800,000.
"We're at a place where that project is a lot more feasible than we initially thought," Butler said.
The town had asked Austin to identify small projects to take on one at a time, and according to a discussion at a recent meeting of library trustees, these projects are expected to be taken up between 2014 and 2017.
"I think we faired really well with the numbers," Trustee David M. Strzepek said at that meeting.
Projects such as the library work, Selectmen's Chair John Duval hopes, soon will be assigned "point people" on the board.
At their meeting this week, Duval began laying out plans to have the five Selectmen focus in on a select few major town projects with the aim of each becoming the Board's specialist in that particular area. He named the library and Memorial School projects, a planned reconstruction of Park Street and extension of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail and the Topia Art Center as potential areas of focus.
Also at this week's meeting, Director of Community Development Donna Cesan updated the board on some projects that are winding down.
She said that contractors are on pace to finish rehabilitating eight housing units in town by September, and contractors working on the Kearns Lane parking lot project "are well on their way to finishing in early June."
This work will exhaust $822,000 the town received from a Community Development Block Grant in 2011.
To reach Phil Demers, email