PITTSFIELD — As longer days tease the coming transition to spring, the theme of this week’s city happenings could be summed up as out with the old, in with the new.
Last week, the City Council gave its final blessing to spend nearly $1 million to expand city water and sewer to Bousquet Ski Area, infrastructure its owner, Mill Town Capital, says is key as it embarks on an $11 million development project.
On Monday, the Historical Commission will weigh a demolition request for the existing Bousquet Ski Lodge, which Mill Town says is too risky to renovate given its poor condition. The investment firm plans to start building a new lodge this spring, at a price of $5 million, to serve as a year-round base of operations with space for events, dining and more.
Speaking of dining, the state moves into Phase Three, Step Two of its reopening plan on Monday, bringing with it the end of capacity limits for indoor dining. However, many Pittsfield eateries are still effectively capacity-limited by the 6-foot buffer between tables that remains in place, and greeted last week’s news with cautious optimism.
But Downtown Pittsfield Inc. is hoping the community gives local pandemic-battered restaurants more reason for hope throughout the month of March. It declared March as Downtown Restaurant Month, and is encouraging residents to support their local businesses as we emerge from the winter doldrums.
Also on Monday, the Ordinance and Rules Committee will take up Mayor Linda Tyer’s request to amend the pay scale for city employees who aren’t in a union or management position. Some of the proposed changes aim to bring employee compensation closer in line with what their counterparts make in comparable communities, and if approved could kick in as early as this summer.
Tuesday brings a 6 p.m. public hearing of the Community Development Board about its proposal to overhaul city zoning code in what would be known as the Downtown Creative District, which would replace the Downtown Arts Overlay District. The board says its proposal would encourage mixed-use development and create “a core of arts, cultural, and residential activities” downtown.
Betsy Sherman, executive director of the Christian Center, and Newell Young, a medical social worker at Berkshire Medical Center, are set to discuss their work supporting unhoused residents during a meeting of the Homelessness Advisory Committee on Wednesday. For their part, representatives from the Elizabeth Freeman Center, Childcare of the Berkshires, ServiceNet and Goodwill will detail their work in the community to the Human Services Advisory Council Thursday.
Tyer’s At Home in Pittsfield exterior home loan program is ramping up to begin in the spring, and the administration is now looking for contractors to replace or repair roofs, chimneys windows and more for homeowners accepted into the program. Contractors can see if they meet the city’s criteria for participating by calling Rehabilitation Specialist John Carchedi at 413-499-9452.
City Hall is now open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or by appointment.