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Site 9 has been called a "scar" and was described as looking like the surface of the moon.

Work Underway at Pittsfield's Site 9

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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The 16-acre parcel at the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and Tyler Street Extension previously housed a General Electric factory and is the largest and most prominent section of the William Stanley Business Park.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An army of construction vehicles can be seen cracking and crushing the surface of Site 9.

"It's pretty amazing the amount of work that is going on over there," Business Development Manager Michael Coakley said to the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority on Thursday.

"There is a lot of equipment they have and it's pretty great, 12 or 13 of those big huge construction pieces of equipment."

Crews are working to excavate the area and bring fill over from another site by working in thirds, starting on the southern portion of the property and working towards the middle.

The long-anticipated project took off earlier this year after a $9.8 million bid was awarded to William J Keller & Sons Construction.  The Castleton-On-Hudson, N.Y., company plans to have the rough surface ready for development in October.

Coakley reported that everything is going well and on time.

"They found a little bit more concrete than they had originally planned but they're working through that," he added.

In about a week, it will be known if the additional concrete will affect the cost.

As far as air monitoring and ground testing for pollutants, there have been no occurrences yet.



Chair Michael Matthews said it has been positive news so far this year and he is impressed with the organization of the site work.

Site 9 has been called a "scar" and was described as looking like the surface of the moon. The 16-acre parcel at the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and Tyler Street Extension previously housed a General Electric factory and is the largest and most prominent section of the William Stanley Business Park.

The project was fully funded earlier this year. The last of the funding includes $400,000 of Pittsfield Economic Development Authority foundation funds, $1.3 million in GE landscaping funds, and $4.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

PEDA voted to engage in a year-long, $3 million line of credit with Berkshire Bank for interim bridge financing in case there is a delay in the grants coming through.  Vice Chair Pamela Green brought forward concerns about interest charges on the loan and it was explained that this is a safety net that will hopefully not have to be used.

"I want to know where that interest money is coming from," she said, adding that she would like to know if it is reimbursable in the grant because, in her opinion, it should be reimbursed if the entity has to incur the interest because a state agency is "taking their sweet time" sending the reimbursement.

"Why should that come out of PEDA's fund?"

The board agreed to look into the grants to clarify the terms.


Tags: PEDA,   

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Pittsfield ConCom OKs Zebra Mussel Treatment

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Conservation Commission has OKed a zebra mussel pesticide treatment in Onota Lake if the invasive species are confirmed.

On Thursday, the panel approved a notice of intent application for the use of EarthTec QZ within a specified treatment area of the lake.  

"We're not entirely 100 percent sure that there is an infestation of zebra mussels at Onota Lake. Last September, a water sample was taken and the DNA of zebra mussel was detected in that water sample. This was a water sample taken near the boat ramp at Burbank Park. Subsequent water samples were taken later in the fall and very early this spring, there were still non-detects in those water samples for DNA showing the presence of zebra mussels," Park, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said.

"We continue to, most recently as this Tuesday, we are sampling for zebra mussel EDNA and we should know the results of those samples certainly by early next week."

McGrath addressed the commission with a sense of urgency, as the lake is currently around 52 degrees Fahrenheit and the zebra mussels begin to activate around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  He described it as "an opportunity to take what could be a potential massively serious ecological issue at Onota Lake and nip it in the bud."

"What we're proposing here is a collaborative approach where there are many stakeholders involved," he said. "This is not Jim McGrath proposing the use of EarthTec QZ at the lake. This is something we have been very deliberative about."

The application was continued from the previous meeting so that it could be filed as a state Ecological Restoration Limited Project.

"Really what it means is that it's eligible, which I think this project meets the eligibility requirements, it affords the right to not have to comply with general performance standards for the resource area that's being impacted," Conservation Agent Robert Van Der Kar said.

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