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Dalton Approves New Solar Incentive for Low-Income Residents

By Joe DurwiniBerkshires Correspondent
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DALTON, Mass. — The Select Board acted unanimously on a new program Colonial Power says will incentivize solar development and bring savings to around 250 local households.

The change will come in the form of a discount for Dalton households already enrolled in the town's municipal aggregation program who meet the income guidelines. It is part of a 2020 expansion of the Department of Energy's SMART (Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target) program, and is "creating additionality while serving customers who have been left out for years," according to Mark Cappadona of Colonial Power.

Impacted customers will not need to do anything to receive the benefit of the program, Cappadona said.

"They'll receive a mailing informing them that they will begin receiving a discount. They can opt out if they wish."

In other news, the Select Board approved a new 4th of July race that will act as a replacement to the annual 5-kilometer preceding Pittsfield's Independence Day parade, which was canceled for a second year because of to COVID-19.

The 5K race route will begin and end at Wahconah Regional High School, said Town Manager Tom Hutcheson.

Registration is now open online or runners can register the day of the race from 7 to 7:30 a.m. The first 200 registered runners will receive a free hat. Bibs pickup prior to race day will be at Berkshire Running Center at 34 Depot St., Pittsfield on July 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hutcheson reported to the board that interviews for a new town planner are scheduled for this week, with subsequent interviews for an assistant town planner slated for the following week.

• A local state of emergency order issued by the Select Board in March 2020 will be rescinded, effective June 15, in conjunction with the withdrawal of the statewide state of emergency. Mask requirements in public buildings will be lifted for vaccinated persons (continued mask wearing is advised for the unvaccinated).

All town boards and committees will also resume in-person meetings, with a continuing option in place for remote participation.

Selectman Robert Bishop voiced concerns about the resumption of in-person meetings, and wondered if it might be possible to continue some meetings virtually. "Personally, I welcome it, but I am also sensitive to members of some of the smaller commissions who are concerned about going back to in person meetings."

Hutcheson explained that with the end of the governor's state of emergency on June 15, there will be no option for towns but to resume having a physical quorum in person, but that legislation currently in the works might make it an option in the future.

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Berkshire Money Management Welcomes New Members to Financial Planning and Advising Teams

DALTON, Mass. — Berkshire Money Management welcomes two new members to their team. 
Angela Elzner joins the firm as a paraplanner in the financial planning department and Kyle Lyman steps into the role of financial associate.  
Angela moved to the Berkshires from St. Mary's, Ga, twenty years ago. Before joining the Berkshire Money Management team, she gained experience serving clients at Wellesley Financial, later known as the Bullfinch Group, and Greylock Investment Group. While at Greylock, Angela obtained a securities license and aimed to help her clients meet their financial goals and address challenges. Angela attended MCLA, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Very recently, Angela received her Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP™) designation. In her role as a paraplanner, Angela will expand Berkshire Money Management's capacity to serve its clients and help to improve the financial planning process. Outside of the office, Angela enjoys boating on the Berkshires' beautiful waters with her four children, family, and friends.
"It's so 1996 to be a money management firm that only focuses on stocks and bonds," said Berkshire Money Management CEO Allen Harris. "Angela's experience will allow us to help more people seeking assistance beyond the stock market, from reducing tax liability today, affording the retirement they want tomorrow, and making sure their families are taken care of down the road."
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