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Ashland Street Improvements Next Big Project in North Adams

The street's seen significant improvements over the past decade with public/private investment such as building renovations, the Clark Biscuit residential project and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' new facilities building.

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Auditor Praises Pittsfield's Bookkeeping, Offers Few Suggestions

Auditor Thomas Scanlon praised the city's bookkeeping. "This is probably the best condition the city's financial reporting has been in," Scanlon told both the City Council and the School Committee at a joint meeting Wednesday evening.

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Pittsfield Councilors Question Budget Transfers

The City Council will once again debate "truth in budgeting" as it now looks to move more than a million dollars around in its budget to close out the books. The request is for $945,000 from various accounts - plus the use of some $300,000 in free cash- to close a gap in the snow and ice budget. The director of finance is also looking to transfer a total of $400,000 from 11 different budget lines to cover a deficit for police overtime budget.

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Pittsfield Finance Director: Grant Has Curbed Firefighter Overtime

The hiring of eight new firefighters through a safer grant is helping curb overtime. For years the overtime budgets for both the Police Department and the Fire Department have been underfunded, leaving a deficit that needs to be made up at the close of the fiscal year every year. This year, however, the city won a federal grant to bring on eight new firefighters and with that, overtime had dropped dramatically.

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Lanesborough Sticks With Single Tax Rate For Fiscal 2018

Assessor Kelly Tolisano said the tax rate will be increasing by 51 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The rate is now $21.40, which reflects an increase of just short of 2.5 percent.

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Clarksburg Sees Tax Rate Drop, Tax Bills Rise

Assessor Ross Vivori said the town usually gains $8,000 to $12,000 from annual growth but this past year it gained more than $30,000 on $2 million in new growth. The town's total assessed value also increased dramatically, by $9 million, showing a strong recovery from the falling values of several years ago.

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North Adams Council OKs Tax Rates for Fiscal 2018

The council approved the split tax rate that will see the residential rate rise about 4 percent, up from $17.67; the commercial rate will rise about 3 percent, from $38.54 to $39.85 per $1,000 valuation. A single family home assessed at $138,300 would see another $123 on the tax bill.

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Pittsfield Establishes Community Preservation Act Budget

The Community Preservation Committee expects a $420,000 budget in the fiscal year 2018. The Community Preservation Act was accepted by voters in November and city officials have been establishing the process since then. The act calls for a surcharge on the tax bills of 1 percent, with the first $100,000 value being exempted. That money goes into a fund, which is controlled by a locally created Community Preservation Committee, to use on affordable housing, parks and open space, historic prese

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