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Marchetti explained that the former administration hoped that the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency would declare a snow emergency and those invoices would be covered through the state agency.

Pittsfield Council Approves Public Services Monies After Oversight

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A nearly $49,000 prior year payment for debris removal was approved by the City Council on Tuesday after it "slipped through the cracks."
 
An order authorizing $48,820 for the Department of Public Services to pay Northern Tree Services for debris clearance and restoration work after a March 2023 storm was approved.
 
"Although I would agree that there should be a purchase order I think there is an explanation behind why there was not," Mayor Peter Marchetti said.
 
The monies will pay Northern Tree Services for clearing trees and large tree limbs that were knocked down by a snowstorm on March 14, 2023.  The work was done on four separate occasions.
 
Due to an "administrative oversight," the invoices were misplaced but have since been validated in collaboration with the tree company.
 
Marchetti explained that the former administration hoped that the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency would declare a snow emergency and those invoices would be covered through the state agency.
 
"As you all know, there was no state of emergency that was declared and that department was missing an administrative assistant for two and a half months during that timeframe of March through May," he said.
 
"It slipped through the cracks so here we are today."
 
He pointed to his former career at the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, saying that the "banker in him says we need to do a better job of keeping track of our invoices when they come in."
 
"And it's my job to build a department that is responsible for that piece," he said. "I've had a conversation with the department head in regards to this and we will attempt to ensure that this doesn't happen in the future."
 
Councilor At Large Kathy Amuso explained that she spoke to Commissioner Ricardo Morales about the matter and he is putting a process into place to ensure that invoices are dealt with properly.
 
In other news, a request to borrow $650,000.00 under the Sewer Enterprise Fund for the sewer main on Holmes Road was referred to the finance subcommittee.
 
The approximately 700-foot extension includes installing two deep manholes and will provide sewer access to properties currently without it. Work is scheduled to cause minimal disruption and includes necessary restoration of the travel surface.
 
The cost breaks down into $500,000 for construction, $100,000 for a 20 percent contingency, and $50,000 for construction administration and a resident engineer.
 
Cynthia Brown, who sits on the board of directors for Arrowhead, said that the nonprofit appreciates the city's efforts to connect sewer to its part of the street and is confident that it can fundraise to connect to it.
 
"As much as we embrace our mission of interpreting 19th-century and 18th-century and 20th-century American culture and history, we do not find our historical sewer system adds much to that interpretation," she said.
 
 
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Pittsfield Woman Dies After Being Rescued From Structure Fire

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The woman who was rescued when her home caught fire on Monday has died. 
 
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office confirmed on Tuesday that Susan Steenstrup, 67, died after she was pulled from the blaze at 1 Marlboro Drive. The cause of death has not been confirmed.
 
Steenstrup was found on the second-floor by firefighters who responded to the blaze at about 6:45 p.m. She was taken by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center. 
 
The two-story, 1930s home is coned off and shows signs of the emergency response such as a broken front window where crews entered to rescue Steenstrup. The fire was reported to have spread from the kitchen and a cause has not yet been determined.
 
Steenstrup was the only occupant at the time. The home had been in her family since at least the 1960s. 
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