VFW Post 448 Commander Arnold M. Perras is co-chairman of a fund drive to refurbish Pittsfield’s Civil War monument.
VFW Post 448 Commander Arnold M. Perras is co-chairman of a fund drive to refurbish Pittsfield's Civil War monument. (Jim Therrien / Berkshire Eagle Staff)

PITTSFIELD -- A fund drive is under way to raise $30,000 to restore Pittsfield's decaying Civil War monument.

VFW Post 448 Commander Arnold M. Perras, co-chairman of the restoration effort, on Tuesday described for City Council members efforts to raise $15,000 by mid-May in order to get bids out and work started by July. An additional $15,000 would later be sought for the perpetual care of the monument.

Perras said the bronze Civil War soldier figure, which has been decaying through corrosion, stands on a pedestal in Park Square and was dedicated in September 1872, just seven years after the war ended. It was dedicated to the 108 soldiers from the city who died during the war.

He said a committee of 14 veterans has formed to help oversee the restoration. Donations may be sent to Civil War Memorial Fund, Room 111, City Hall, 70 Allen St., Pittsfield, 01201.

The bronze figure was modeled after a color sergeant/flag bearer from Pittsfield, Perras said, adding that the duty required leading a regiment into battle, "and was considered a mark of great distinction and it required a soldier of extraordinary bravery."

Plans call for raising $15,000 by May 15, he said, so that bids can be sought in time to begin work in July. The project will include washing, repairs, retinting and weatherproof waxing.

The additional $15,000 would fund future care, such as cleaning, rewaxing and other wear or damage.

Also Tuesday, councilors referred to the Traffic Commission a request from Pittsfield Cooperative Bank and Centennial Realty Holdings, LLC, to change Burbank Street from one-way to two-way traffic between First and North streets.

Ward 2 Councilor Kevin J. Morandi said the bank hopes to construct a branch with an ATM at the corner of Burbank and North streets. Currently, traffic is one way on Burbank, allowing vehicles to travel only from North Street to First Street but not in the opposite direction.

Morandi said he will attend the next meeting of the Traffic Commission, which is expected to make a recommendation to the council.

Councilors also unanimously approved the appointment of Nicole L. Boucher as assistant city treasurer.

To reach Jim Therrien:
jtherrien@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6247.
On Twitter: @BE_therrien