GB Distributes $350K in Community Impact Fees

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Town is distributing $350,000 in Community Impact Fees to five community-based organizations.
The awardee organizations are:
  • Berkshire Hills Regional School District $185,000
  • Railroad Street Youth Project $110,000
  • Volunteers in Medicine $25,000
  • Community Legal Aid $10,000
  • Rural Recovery Resources $20,000.
The funds came from Community Impact Fees collected in 2021,which are collected from cannabis-related businesses operating in town.  
The awardees were selected based on recommendations from the town's Community Impact Fund Committee.
Town Manager Mark Pruhenski extended his thanks to the group's review of many applications in recent weeks.
Cannabis dispensaries agree to pay the town a Community Impact Fee for five years. Funds are used to help mitigate the negative effects of having the dispensaries in town. 
"We're deeply appreciative to the organizations we've funded for the tremendous work they're doing. We're also thankful to the dispensaries for making this funding possible," CIF Committee Chair Rebecca Gold said.
According to a press release, the Berkshire Hills and Railroad Street proposals are cannabis-specific, health-oriented, and focus on educating youth about the risks that come with cannabis use. VIM, which provides healthcare to uninsured community members (some of whom are youth), will use the funds to strengthen its work around substance use counseling and risk assessment. Community Legal Aid will use the funds to help expunge cannabis-related convictions of Great Barrington residents. Rural Recovery Resources is a key resource for residents with substance use disorder.

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