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The property at 49-55 John St. was the first to go Thursday morning.

Four Pittsfield Properties to Be Razed

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Associate Builders from Springfield won the contract for the work.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The first of four blighted properties to be demolished this spring was taken down Thursday morning.
The first on the docket was 49-55 John St. The property is one Mayor Linda Tyer had campaigned in front of during her first bid for office four years ago and was removed the morning Tyer announced her second bid for the corner office. 
At 9 a.m., Associated Building Wreckers out of Springfield began razing the property. The building had been in code enforcement since 2016 and had been in significant disrepair before.
The owner, Raymond Supranowicz, told city officials he was looking to sell the property and claimed he had stopped working on it because it was broken into and copper was stolen.
But the property had significant issues with overgrowth, there was a lack of lighting and security, there were no utilities, fire alarms were not connected to alert the Fire Department, and there were significant structural issues, according to the Health Department.
Following that, the company, which was awarded $193,043 contract for the multiple property demolitions, will move on to 100 John St. Two others slated for demolition this spring include 68-70 Lincoln St. and 105 Daniels Ave.
The fight against blight is a lengthy process with multiple avenues a city can take. Pittsfield demolishes about four to six properties a year.
The city has a lengthy list of vacant properties to comb through. A code enforcement team consisting of the building inspectors and Fire, Health, and Engineering departments priorities and determine which properties will be torn down. That group meets regularly with representatives from the Department of Community Development, the city solicitor, and the Purchasing Department.

Tags: blight,   demolition,   

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Pittsfield Begins Review of $170M Budget for Fiscal 2021

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

The City Council made no changes to the first set of department budgets submitted by Mayor Linda Tyer. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council gave preliminary approval of the first section of a level-funded budget for fiscal 2021 without changes on Tuesday night. 
The council held its first budget hearing remotely on the proposed $169,537,880 spending plan that is up less than 1 percent from this year.
"It is the most challenging and demanding undertaking that any of us has ever experienced and the challenges grow with each passing day," Mayor Linda Tyer said. "Following right behind this global pandemic that continues to present a threat to human health is the economic fallout that will certainly affect our ability to deliver city services to our residents." 
Tyer noted that they were well into the budget process when the pandemic hit and it forced a financial about-face. She said the state's economy will certainly impact the city's budget and she expected a "historic and rapid economic downturn."
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