Richmond Briefs: Student play; marijuana moratorium vote; ambulance future under discussion

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Students, residents to perform in theater workshop



A group of 20 Richmond Consolidated School students in grades 6 through 8 and eight residents over the age of 50 have been immersed since last October in the school's Intergenerational Theater Project.

Following an extensive schedule of rehearsals, public performances by the ensemble are slated for Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 and 7 p.m. at the school, 1831 State Road (Route 41). The one-hour original theater piece explores stereotypes, ageism and communication in our digital age, according to an announcement from the school.

After the show, there will be a discussion of the creative process. The project is partially funded by the school's PTA and the Richmond Cultural Council. Tickets at $3 for students and $5 for adults will be available at the door.



Town to vote on marijuana moratorium



At a special town meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall, registered voters will decide whether to adopt a temporary ban on marijuana establishments through Dec. 31.

During a moratorium, town planners would review the potential impacts of marijuana businesses in the town and consider statewide regulations issued by the Cannabis Control Commission by mid-March.

The moratorium would expire earlier if the town adopts zoning bylaw amendments to regulate marijuana retailers, product manufacturers, cultivators, independent testing labs or any other type of licensed marijuana-related business. The proposed ban is recommended by the Planning Board, and requires two-thirds approval at the special town meeting.Other articles on the warrant are transfers from free cash and stabilization funds. The complete warrant is posted at www.richmondma.org.



Future of Richmond Ambulance under discussion



Town leaders continue to monitor Richmond Ambulance response times ahead of reconsidering whether to fund a new $200,000 ambulance to replace its existing vehicle, according to Town Administrator Mark Pruhenski. Meetings are held quarterly with ambulance director Brian Schultz, a full-time EMT for County Ambulance who also volunteers in Richmond, with the next one slated for March 10.

The response times have not changed significantly over the past year, Pruhenski said. He noted that West Stockbridge officials have been invited into the ongoing discussions since their town is affected by Richmond Ambulance's response rates. "At some point, they may want to look for other options if we can't meet their needs," he said.

Options listed by the town administrator include continued monitoring, investment in a new ambulance, or closing Richmond Ambulance in favor of contracting with Action Ambulance and County Ambulance to serve town residents.

"There's such a shortage of ambulance services already and Berkshire County doesn't want to see an ambulance closed," Pruhenski commented. "The truth is we can't keep investing money into an ambulance that isn't leaving the garage." Richmond Ambulance, based at the firehouse, has first-call response for covering the entire town, most of West Stockbridge and a portion of Hancock along Route 20.

"We have a lot of need for ambulance response and not a lot of available EMTs here," the town administrator observed.



Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com or 413-637-2551.

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