Berkshire Planning Commission Approves 'Conservative' FY25 Budget

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has a "conservative" budget for fiscal year 2025 with a nearly 6 percent increase.

On Thursday, the commission approved a $6,640,005 budget for FY25, a $373,990 increase from the previous year.  The spending plan saw less growth from FY24 to FY25, as the FY23 to FY24 increase was more than $886,000, or over 16 percent.

Executive Director Thomas Matuszko said there aren't any dramatic changes.  

"This is very much different than a municipal budget in that it's not a controlling budget or a limiting budget," he said. "It is really just our best estimate of our ability to afford to operate."

The increase is largely due to new grants for public health programs, environmental and energy efforts, economic development, community planning, and the transportation program.

"We have a lot of grants and a lot of applications in. If any of those are awarded, which I'm sure there's going to be many of them, we would shift gears and if we have to add staff or direct expenses, we would," office manager Marianne Sniezek explained.

"But the budget that we have now is conservative and it covers all our expenses."

The budget was endorsed by the finance and executive committee before reaching the full planning commission.

"In my experience, this is a very conservative budget," Chair Malcolm Fick said. "The revenue that's shown in the budget is actually contracts that BRPC already has in hand and doesn't even account for anything that might come in during the year so it's very, very conservative in that sense."



Some of the highest projected revenues include over $859,400 for transportation planning, nearly $426,000 for the U.S. Department of Justice's Berkshire Post Overdose Program, and shared public health services with the state Department of Public Health totaling over $1 million.

"When you review that budget it really highlights how much important work BRPC is doing for the economic health of the county," Windsor delegate Doug McNally said.

District Local Technical Assistance funding will sunniest at the end of 2025, with $48,500 for the new fiscal year. These funds can be spent on various planning and implementation projects including but not limited to zoning, housing production, economic development, and conservation planning.

There is a nearly $265,000 increase in salary expenses largely related to three new full-time positions: a social worker, planner, and trainer for the public health program. Personnel pay plan adjustments, pay ranges for FY25, and merit pay are also contributing factors.

The budget for administrative salaries increased by more than $25,000 due to personnel pay-plan adjustments, merit increases, and charging for staff meetings and agency training.

Overall benefits increased by $139,558 from $1,128,050 in FY24 to $1,1257,608 in FY25, mainly covering additional vacation benefits to long-time BRPC staff and increases in health and dental insurance costs.

Non-personnel operating costs are budgeted for an over $67,200 increase. Audits are set to cost $6,500 more due to more projects and BRPC also budgeted over $17,000 to replace laptops and docking stations and to increase the Microsoft licenses to 65.  

Direct project expenses saw an increase of over $55,100, with communication increased by over $6,000 for more public participation and outreach in projects on digital equity, public health, the home modification program, and community planning.

$15,000 has been set aside for the reserve fund.


Tags: BRPC,   fiscal 2025,   

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Pittsfield Girls Softball to Host New England Regional

Community submission
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Pittsfield Girls Softball will host the New England Babe Ruth Regional Tournament at the Doyle Softball Complex from June 28 to June 30.
 
The tournament will feature 15 teams, including the Berkshire Force 12-and-under and 14-and-under travel squads. The event will get under way at 8 a.m. on Friday and run through about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
 
Winners from the tournament will advance to the 40th anniversary Babe Ruth Softball World Series in Florence Ala., in July.
 
“The Pittsfield Girls Softball League extends its appreciation to the City of Pittsfield and all of our event sponsors for their assistance in making this tournament possible,” PGS President Jack Roy said in a Tuesday news release.
 
For more information about the tournament, contact Roy at 619-318-3908 or royjack254@aol.com.
 
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