At 11 a.m. sharp, though, right on time, Bernard and a group of officials from the city's Parks and Recreation and Water departments stood in front of the first of two blue ribbons tied to water elements. And he said only a few words before the first ribbon was cut.
Town Administrator Jay Green told the board on Wednesday that he had received communications from Sen. Adam Hinds' office in regard to a state budget amendment that would secure nearly $50,000 for the park.
The City Council agreed to cover the funding gap in the Clapp Park renovation project.
The city had found itself short by about $150,000 for a planned restoration of Clapp Park. The project entails work the installation of a splash pad, improvements to the baseball field, and restoring the bathroom.
The Community Preservation Act Committee is recommending close to $600,000 for a dozen projects.
The group entered this year's process with $613,000 to spend but just slightly more than $1 million worth of requests for 14 different projects. In order to allow for some funds to roll over into next year, City Planner CJ Hoss suggested keeping the approvals under $600,000.
After bids came in too high twice, the City Council is being asked to up the city's contribution toward the renovation of Clapp Park.
The city had received a $400,000 state grant to undertake a massive restoration of the West Housatonic Street park. That was matched by city funds for bathrooms, the community preservation act funding, $180,000 donation from the Rotary Club, and a $5,000 donation from Carr Hardware.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee learned about the town-owned properties that could potentially be developed for recreation.
And it learned why one large, highly accessible property likely won't be developed any time soon.
The plans include a new playground, basketball court, youth baseball field, soccer-sized multi-use field, practice wall, walking path and parking area. Across Brayton Terrace on the Hoosic River side will be two pocket parks, picnic tables, information panels on the river and wildlife and a focal element that would be a replication of a waterwheel.
The city is considering opening a field at the East Street Complex as a test site for a dog park.
The city has been awaiting funding to construct a dog park at Burbank Park since a 2017 working group fleshed out the idea and identified a location. The city is hoping for an award from the Stanton Foundation to take the next steps. Meanwhile, however, off leash dogs continue to be an issue in the city.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra will be broadcasted live in the Common on July 19.
Mill Town Capital and the BSO are launching Tanglewood in the City in downtown Pittsfield this summer. The event will be free and the event will feature some food vendors and a beer garden, operated by Barrington Brewery.
Town officials will hold a public hearing next week to go over possible projects to contain in the annual CDBG application and, this year, the Community Development Office will propose including the long-discussed Russell Field renovation project.
In addition to O'Connor, who has experience in town government and a history of supporting "eco-friendly" initiatives like Bee Friendly Williamstown, the other six members have backgrounds that cover the constituency groups Thomas mentioned.
On a cold and windy morning, some 40 volunteers gave up their afternoon to spruce up Clapp Park.
Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity organized the clean up as part of its neighborhood revitalization efforts. Lowe's, Habitat for Humanity's national partner, awarded the local organization $40,000 to invest back into west Pittsfield.
The Little League is looking to spruce up Deming Park.
Greg Coscia has begun conversations with the city to make a number of improvements to the park. First, the league wants to make railings leading to the scorekeepers building permanent. Those were installed prior to the district tournament when stairs were replaced and repaired. Coscia hopes to put a taller fence behind it to make it more difficult for trespassers to get in.
A final design for more than a half million dollars worth of improvements to Clapp Park was finalized Monday.
The Parks Commission gave its stamp of approval on the design crafted by Berkshire Design Group. The design, however, isn't entirely what parks officials had been hoping for when first crafted.
Efforts to make the town more business-friendly are well underway.
In recent years the town created an economic development committee and secured a state grant to share an economic development planning with other towns. A second grant award hired Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to do a re-use study of the Berkshire Mall.
Lori Gazzillo Kiely, senior vice president of Berkshire Bank and foundation director, said the bank had been looking for a project it could partner with the city on for its volunteer "Xtraordinary Day of Service" in June.
Parks and Open Space Manager James McGrath told the Parks Commission on Tuesday that the design currently crafted is estimated to go over the $675,000 budget for the project. He is now working with Berkshire Design on scaling the concept back slightly to make the numbers work.
Todd Fiorentino is looking to open a coffee kiosk at the First Street Common in a few weeks.
The city has approved a lease agreement allowing Fiorentino to set up the 6-foot by 8-foot wooden kiosk on the sidewalk in front of the park. Poseidon Coffee is expected to be open on Sept. 10.
The project in its entirety is slated to cost $455,000 and the city is requesting $318,500, or 70 percent of the project, from PARC. The remaining 30 percent ($136,500) will come for the next round of Community Development Block Grant funds.