ADAMS — Select Board members heard details Wednesday about the long-planned Hoosac Coal and Grain Park Project, as well as plans for improving Howland Avenue.

Becky Ferguson, program manager for Adams’ Community Development Department, laid out the conceptual plan for the park at the property surrounding the old grain tower at Cook and Columbia streets.

The park has been in development since the early 2000s. The grain tower and seed store are considered iconic to the town’s history. It was once a busy center of commerce, with trains loading up grain from the tower and locals farmers stocking up on seed. They also sold coal.

The latest design includes a ramp entrance directly off the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. Another entrance is off Cook Street with a small parking area. Portions of the park will include a fenced off-leash dog park, an event area, a picnic zone and a central walkway. Relics of the railway will be worked into the design to relate to the history of the site. Along the flood chute of the Hoosic River would be pollinator friendly wildflower plantings.

The grain tower and seed store structure will be stabilized and studied for future use in the next phase of development.

Environmental Protection Agency funding is in place to remove contaminants from the site, but the construction funding is going to be part of a grant application through the Community Development Block Grant program.

The application deadline, usually in March, has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, with a new deadline not yet in place. The cost is estimated to be $600,000 to $800,000.

“This is one of the items we would like to move forward, so, we’re waiting to hear,” Ferguson said.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway to secure state money to repair the issues on Howland Avenue in the short term, said Jay Green, town administrator.

“We’ll be continuing to look for a way to correct the flaws and then move on with our vision for that roadway,” Green said.

In the longer term, the town intends to seek federal money to re-create the Howland Avenue corridor into a “boulevard concept,” which will use traffic designing to slow the speeds typical there now, said Donna Cesan, special projects coordinator. There would be medians with tree plantings, turn lanes and narrower traffic lanes.

The money will be sought through the Transportation Improvement Program, which will take some time.

On another front, the town is moving forward to achieve a 25 percent design completion to move ahead with the extension of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail from Lime Street to Hodges Cross Road, Cesan said.

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