PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City meetings can return to City Hall now that the elevator has been fixed.
On Monday state inspectors gave the Okay on the elevator up. In April the hydraulic system gave out, with people inside the elevator, and has been out of service since. All city meetings had been relocated for months, using the library, Council on Aging, and Pittsfield High School.
"Monday we got the all-clear from the state that it was inspected and ready to go," said Director of Administrative Services Roberta McCulloch-Dews.
According to Director of Maintenance Brian Filiault, the elevator, which dates back more than 50 years, is no longer made. The city hired Bay State Elevator to make repairs but finding parts was difficult. Filiault said a number of new pieces were retrofitted to fit. Particularly, the company struggled with acquiring one part which delayed repairs.
"They went as far as they could go with what they had and then had to leave," Filiault said.
The city contracted with Bay State on an emergency basis, sidestepping the public bidding process which Filiault said would have added another month to the process. The project cost between $30,000 and $35,000.
The door mechanism was replaced, pumping materials, and the mechanicals for the hydraulic system were all replaced. The city was able to use many of the controls from the existing elevator.
"The inspection went fantastic. The state came in relatively quickly," Filiault said.
Filiault said the department had been keeping an eye on the elevator and had plans to renovate it in the next fiscal year. But, the failure in April fast-tracked that plan.
For months city meetings were held elsewhere because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The issue was particularly difficult for Pittsfield Community Television, which has equipment permanently established in City Hall and can often cover two meetings at a time - one in the council chambers and another in room 203. The organization had to shuffle around staff members to cover everything and lost the ability for some live coverage.
The moving also led to increased overtime in some places. For example, custodians at Pittsfield High School stay on site when there are evening events and that includes council meetings.
McCulloch-Dews credited the organizations which made space available in the time of need. City business continued, just in a new location. Having the elevator back brings regularity to city government.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.
How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.