The Finance Committee on Wednesday recommended passage of all the fiscal warrants for May's Annual Town Meeting, but not until after it revisited a few of the arguments that punctuated budget season at Town Hall.
A City Council subcommittee is recommending that elected officials do not sit on the 9-member Community Preservation Committee.
Voters adopted the Community Preservation Act in November, which places a surcharge of 1 percent on tax bills with the first $100,000 of value being exempt. That money is matched by the state at around 30 percent, depending on the year, and can be spent on projects for historical preservation, open space, conservation, and affordable housing.
After an evening filled with votes, revotes, bargaining and multiple appeals from some applicants, the Community Preservation Committee on Tuesday finalized the recommendations for funding it will send to town meeting later this year.
In the end, all eight of the applicants received positive recommendations from the eight-person committee, which has the responsibility of vetting proposals and crafting articles for the annual town meeting warrant.
Harsh winter weather and warm summer days are on the minds of the Community Preservation Committee this year.
Of the eight projects applying for Community Preservation Act funding for fiscal 2018, three share the common theme of preserving historic sites damaged by the annual freeze-thaw cycle.
The Community Preservation Committee on Wednesday took its first look at the 2017 applicants for CPA funds and returned to the familiar ground of discussing how conservative the committee should be in allocating those funds.
The total amount of money sought is about $19,500 above the CPC's stated target for distributions in the next fiscal year. The committee expects to have about $311,000 available from Community Preservation Act revenues, but it has decided to try to carry a $140,000 balance forward into the next fiscal year.
The Spruces Land Use Committee heard a presentation from local engineering firm Guntlow & Associates about what amenities could be installed at the site and speculation about how much the improvements might cost.
Mayor Linda Tyer says the Community Preservation Act will "get Pittsfield ready for good things to happen."
The mayor joined more than a dozen supports of the local ballot question calling for the adoption of the program, which supporters say will help bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pittsfield to help with an array of project. The act calls for a surcharge on the tax bills of 1 percent, with the first $100,000 being exempted. That is matched by a state allocation, which in previous
I have been hearing from a lot of Pittsfield residents about things that are wrong in Pittsfield. Surely, no city is perfect, but we have our golden opportunity to correct at least one of the "wrongs" simply by voting yes on Question 5 on Nov. 8 to adopt the Community Preservation Act.
I'm a local real estate broker/owner of Gile Real Estate. As a broker, I see the money that we've given to other [Community Preservation Act] communities for the past 16 years in real estate document recording fees ($170 every time a property is purchased.)
I'm writing to urge Pittsfield citizens to vote yes on Question 5. When we are open minded, study the facts, figures and multiple examples of success stories, it is a natural conclusion that Pittsfield would benefit immensely from [Community Preservation Act's] adoption. It is time to say yes.
The Community Preservation Act would support everything I love about living in Pittsfield: its proud and fascinating heritage, picturesque historic architecture, creative economy, and the natural beauty of its outdoor spaces.
There are many reasons for a town to adopt the CPA law. Most importantly it is a totally and completely a democratic process, as the projects must be approved by the town after vetting by the CPA committee. Sometimes overlooked is the fact that having funds to help complete projects, keeps those hard-working volunteers active in protecting the historic resources we all cherish.
Historical Commissioner John Dickson watched as the former Plunkett School was torn down. He heard the news that the former St. Mary of Morning Star was eyed for the demolition ball. He saw the St. Joseph Convent torn down.
He sees these buildings being torn down. But, he also sees developers looking to cobble together funds to save some. He writes letters of recommendations for historic tax credits but so often it isn't enough.
The Conservation Commission on Thursday evening reiterated its request for a detailed list of the plants that a local nonprofit hopes to put on town-owned land on Sept. 1.
And the commissioners expressed some dismay about having to ask twice.
Voters will be asked for a second time whether or not the city wants to adopt the Community Preservation Act.
The state law allows for communities to add a surcharge to property tax bills to pay for parks, open spaces, historic preservation, and affordable housing. The state divvies up fees collected from deed transfers with real estate sales and matches on a percentage basis.
The Spruces Land Use Committee on Wednesday selected Guntlow and Associates to do a wetland delineation and conceptual design for utilizing 42 acres of the former mobile home park on Main Street.
The committee received two bids for the work, which is being funded from Community Preservation Act funds awarded at May's annual town meeting.
The Community Preservation Committee on Tuesday approved the warrant articles it recommends for approval at May's annual town meeting.
The CPC is recommending the town fund six new requests with funds generated from the Community Preservation Act surcharge on local property taxes.
The Board of Selectmen on Monday declined to ask voters whether the town should continue participation in the Community Preservation Act.
In 2002, Williamstown voted to add a 2 percent surcharge on property valued at more than $100,000. The funds are granted each year by annual town meeting to support projects in one of three areas: historic preservation, open space and recreation and affordable housing.
The Community Preservation Committee has recommended that town meeting fund six projects to the tune of $154,421.
The committee at its Feb. 23 meeting voted to send just six of nine active applications for Community Preservation Act funds to May's annual town meeting.
The Board of Selectmen on Monday opened its meeting by announcing the close of a debate that has snarled another town body this winter.
"Several things here, not the least of which is the South Williamstown Community Association has graciously decided to withdraw its proposal for a dog park at [the former Little Red Schoolhouse]," Chairwoman Jane Patton said.
Plans to create a dog park in South Williamstown continued to draw fire at Wednesday's meeting of the Community Preservation Committee.
The South Williamstown Community Association is seeking $3,500 from Community Preservation Act funds to help build a fence for a dog park in the yard behind the South Center School near the junctions of Routes 7 and 43.
The Williamstown Historical Museum found itself at odds with a group of residents who are looking to create a dog park at the South Williamstown site the museum expects soon to call home.
The museum was before the Community Preservation Committee in search of nearly $15,000 for a historic preservation project unrelated to its upcoming move. The South Williamstown Community Association is looking for $3,500 in Community Preservation Act funds to help build the dog park.
Ten projects totaling more than $293,000 will be on the agenda when the Community Preservation Committee holds its first 2016 meeting on Wednesday evening at Town Hall.
The money in that $284,000 pot is generated by a combination of state support and r