PITTSFIELD -- Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi wants to move forward with rebuilding the fire-damaged city highway garage on West Housatonic Street with the goal of beginning construction in 2014.
Bianchi will request City Council approval Tuesday for use of $650,475 in fire insurance reimbursement funds for the project. The city earlier this year received a $1,523,330 settlement from its insurer, the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, after a Jan. 14 fire heavily damaged the garage building at 232 West Housatonic St.
Bruce Collingwood, the city's commissioner of public utilities, said the next step in the project is to seek bids for demolishing the existing highway garage, which was vacated by the highway department after the fire. He said it's possible the structure will be razed in December or January.
A second phase of the project, which also is ongoing, Collingwood said, is to seek proposals from firms to design the new facility. That will also develop cost estimates. He said the insurance reimbursement is expected to cover the demolition, building design and part of the construction cost.
The insurance payment also includes $70,000 per year for two years to lease temporary space for the DPW in a building owned by Laurin Publishing at 39 Elmvale Place, off Wahconah Street.
After the old garage on the city's 6.3-acre parcel is razed, the tentative plan calls for building a new structure north of the current building.
In addition, the city hopes to refurbish the DPW offices building located behind the garage building. Collingwood said that project would be funded separately.
The city yard complex was opened in 1926. Four of its structures, including the garage and office building, were constructed between 1926 and 1937.
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