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Pittsfield Taco Bell to Move Across Street

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Conservation Commission signed off on the construction of a new Taco Bell on Dalton Avenue.
The commission voted Thursday to amend an order pertaining to the construction of the fast-food outfit on vacant land adjacent to the Medex building 
"I think all in all this project works better from a standpoint of the wetlands rules and the riverfront redevelopment standards point of view," Conservation Agent Robert Van Der Kar said.
Previously the property was to be developed as a gas station and Van Der Kar said the fast-food chain may be closer to the riverfront but this is an improvement over gas pumps and tanks.
He added that the project included an improved stormwater control system including rain gardens.
He said he saw no need to add any new conditions to the application  
"I don’t see really any need," he said. "I thought it was a fine project."
The new Taco Bell will replace the current Taco Bell in Berkshire Crossing.
The applicant proposes building a new 2,700-square foot, 50-seat building with potential of a drive-through. 
The project will also include a 32-space parking lot.
Some commissioners wanted some more time with the application and Commissioner Jonathan Lothrop asked for a continuance.
"It is a substantially different project than the one we have ... I am not sure I have had enough time to absorb it," he said.
A motion was made to continue the hearing but it failed with a 3-3 vote.
The next motion was to approve the change. This passed with a 5-1 vote with only Lothrop in the negative.
"I feel like this is much less of an impact than the Cumberland farms," Commissioner Thomas Sakshaug said. "I am pretty good with the plan."
There was some discussion about changing individual plantings and stormwater control. Some commissioners also wanted to see less paved surface for parking.   
The Community Development Board will review the project in the near future.
In other business, the commission approved a three-year extension to the Hancock Road culvert replacement project.
"It looks great and at this point, it is in its second phase," Van Der Kar said. "They are ready to work but need some more time."
This is a city project and Public Works Commissioner Ricardo Morales said they are finalizing the bid package and plan to send it out at the end of the month. He said they hope to break ground soon after.

Tags: conservation commission,   restaurants,   

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BCC to Hold 'Experience BCC'

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) will hold Experience BCC on Wednesday, April 19 from 9 am-12 pm. 
Designed to introduce potential BCC students to a typical day on campus, the event is held during Berkshire County high schools' spring break, making it easy for high school students to attend.  
Potential BCC students have the opportunity to sit in on a classroom experience and discover how BCC offers the same high-quality education as other colleges, but for a fraction
 of the cost. Participants will: 
  • Meet faculty, staff and students        
  • Enjoy a free breakfast and lunch       
  • Learn about paying for college     
  • Hear about more than 50 programs of study offered at BCC       
  • Get the scoop on transferring    
  • Take a tour of the campus 
Participants start the day with a free breakfast, followed by breakout sessions featuring faculty-led, hands-on experiences from 9:30-10 am and 10:10-10:40 am. Sessions include: 
  • Nursing with Dean of Nursing Lori Moon in the SIM Lab        
  • STEM with Assistant Professor of Engineering José Colmenares    
  • Allied Health with Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director Michele Darroch        
  • Writing workshop with Writing Across the Curriculum Coordinator Liesl Schwabe 
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