Senator Mark Announces June Office Hours

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PITTSFIELD — State Sen. Paul W. Mark announced that his staff will be conducting office hours in five locations in Berkshire County in June. 
Residents of any of the 57 municipalities in the Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin & Hampshire Senate District are encouraged to visit one of the following locations to ask for assistance with issues involving any state agency or to share ideas on current or potential state legislation. Appointments are not needed.  
  • Adams: June 13 and 27 from 9 to noon, Town Hall 
  • Dalton: June 5 from 1 to 3 p.m., Senior Center
  • Great Barrington: June 12 and 26 from 9 to noon, Town Hall
  • North Adams: June 13 and 27 from 1 to 4 p.m., MCLA Alumni Relations Building, 228 E. Main St.
  • Pittsfield: June 7, 8, 21 and 22 from 9 to noon, senator's office at 773 Tyler St.
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Pittsfield Looks Forward to New, Improved Streetscape Maintenance

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state of disarray in downtown medians stemmed from a problem with a contractor who won the bid and then was terminated twice.

Earlier this month, members of the City Council were outraged at overgrown medians and flowerbeds in the downtown area and referred several petitions on city maintenance to Commissioner of Public Services and Utilities Ricardo Morales.

The lack of care was attributed to issues with contracted work, being short-staffed, and weather struggles. The overgrowth has since been cleared and a new partnership between the city and local organizations will take the reins.

On Tuesday, Morales reported that EMS, a property maintenance and landscaping company, won the bid twice and both times did not complete the monthly pruning, weeding and prepping outlined in the contract.

"They were not doing it last year. We terminated the contract. We obviously did not pay them for the work they didn't do and we put out the contract to bid again. They were the only ones that bid again," he explained, adding that they were awarded the contract after an extensive meeting that outlined expectations and when they were not met, the contract was terminated again.

EMS was given until the end of June to get the work done.

"I acknowledge it and it's something that we should have done better," Morales said.

To address the issue in the short term, overtime work from the Highway Department has been arranged. This will allow crews to focus on downtown maintenance, working alongside a different local contractor to address overgrowth and weeds, Morales said.

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