PITTSFIELD — As health leaders await the results of a report on electromagnetic radiation levels from a new South Street cell tower, a petition for enhanced abutter notifications that arose in response to neighborhood complaints will be on the City Council’s radar this week.
Right now, property owners within 300 feet are entitled to a notification when a project seeks special permit approval in their area. But the petition recommended by the Community Development Board would increase the setback to 500 feet for special permit applications, with exceptions for one, two and three-family residences, and require the notifications be sent via certified mail.
The council “floor” is still a virtual one, at least for one more meeting. While Council President Peter Marchetti had said last month that this Tuesday’s meeting would be held in Council Chambers, the return of in-person City Council meetings was delayed until next month due to ongoing repairs of the elevator of City Hall.
Meanwhile, health officials are expected to learn this week whether or not the cell tower is in compliance with radiation levels set by the Federal Communication Commission. Health Director Gina Armstrong has said the full results of a city-commissioned study on the issue will be presented tothe Board of Health at its next meeting on July 7.
After the recent spate of shootings, City Councilor Chris Connell wants an update from Mayor Linda Tyer on gun violence in the city, and filed a petition seeking that info that is expected to be referred directly to the mayor. In other council business, a petition from Councilor Anthony Maffuccio calling on the city to address Pontoosuc Lake and “bring it back to what is used to be” is set to take a step forward, after City Planner Cornelius Hoss said reallocated funds will be used for a “planning study of the park with the goal being to develop a master plan for future improvements.”
The City Council may still be convening remotely, but other public bodies have begun meeting face-to-face. The Airport Commission is one of them, and will meet Tuesday to select an airport consultant and discuss financials, including the public airport’s share of federal COVID-19 relief money.
Berkshire Bridges’ monthly Working Cities Wednesday event is being virtually on Wednesday, providing the recurring forum for residents to discuss the challenges they see in their communities, and bat around ideas.
And on Friday, the Salvation Army is holding its first in a series of Family Reading Picnics at Durant Park, where an arts and craft project and lunch will also be offered between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chair or blanket. The event is the first of four that will take place this summer, with future reading picnics scheduled for July 16, July 30 and August 13.