City Council to decide on fate of Mohawk Theater

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NORTH ADAMS — The City Council on Tuesday will decide if the Mohawk Theater is no longer needed for municipal use, a decision delayed by last week's snowstorm.

If Mayor Thomas Bernard's measure is approved, the request would allow him to issue a request for proposals on the city-owned theater, which was opened as a movie house in 1938 but closed in 1991. Bernard announced in his State of the City address last month that he would solicit proposals for the theater's redevelopment.

The council could opt to vote on the issue Tuesday or refer it to a committee for further review.

"Consistent with our approach to other city-owned properties, such as the former City Yard on Ashland Street, and Notre Dame church and school, I propose declaring the Mohawk Theater to be no longer needed for municipal purposes, and available for disposition," Bernard wrote in a Feb. 12 letter to the council.

Should councilors accept Bernard's proposal, they would be entrusting the theater's future to the mayor's office. Bernard ultimately would choose the winning bid — or elect not to choose a winner at all — without the council's input.

The council would be involved only if the winning bid came in at less than the Main Street property's assessed value, which is $446,400.

Tuesday's meeting also will feature a proposed 0.5 percent raise for the city's police officers, which was negotiated by their union after the city's departure from the Civil Service system this year. The department also will be raising the wages of its employees to $12 per hour to meet the state's new minimum wage requirements.

The City Council meeting is set for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter or 413-629-4517.

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