North Adams cab company's relocation plan delayed

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NORTH ADAMS — The unexpected death of its owner has delayed City Cab's plan to relocate to River Street.

Michael G. McMillian's proposal to move the business to 54 River St. was interrupted by his death on Oct. 20. He was 60.

On Monday, the Planning Board reviewed his application to use the property at 54 River St. for the business. His wife, Susan McMillian, plans to carry on the taxi business.

But the Planning Board ultimately chose to delay its decision by a month since the application is still under Michael McMillian's name. At the meeting, the board opted for Susan McMillian to amend the application with her name to ensure a legal vote on the application.

"My condolences on [the loss of your husband], but in a technical sense, his name is still on the application. Is that legal for that to be the case?" Chairman Michael Leary asked her.

Real estate agent Michael Hernandez, who was present to represent the property owner 54 River Street Trust, said Susan McMillian and her attorney were under the impression she could move forward with the application. Susan McMillian was at the meeting, but did not speak.

In September, Michael McMillian applied for a change of use at 54 River St., which he planned to lease. The 1,600-square-foot building was formerly home to Night Owl Automotive.

The 24-hour service would be dispatched out of the office space there, while the three garage stalls would house the taxis. The business had previously been based out of the McMillians' Houghton Street home. The River Street building is in a commercial zone and is listed in assessor records as owned by the 54 River Street Trust and Douglas Merrick.

Building Inspector William Meranti said he did not know the legality of the process and suggested requesting an opinion from the city solicitor. He noted that the owner of the River Street property was not present at the meeting — which Hernandez said was also due to a death in the family — and that Susan McMillian also will need a license to operate a taxi business under her name.

The board voted to delay the decision by a month. Board members agreed they could not amend an applicant's name at the meeting. The open meeting law requires the applicant's name be posted publicly ahead of time.

"I just don't know what the legal ramifications are of hearing a case for an individual who is deceased," Leary said.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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