PITTSFIELD — The City Council jumps into its first budget hearings this week, launching the city’s annual debates over municipal spending.
The remote hearing that begins 6 p.m. on Monday will open with a presentation from the Tyer Administration about the fiscal year 2022 spending plan, then will highlight Tyer’s proposed five-year capital improvement plan. Councilors will review departmental budgets for the office of the mayor, the budget for City Council itself, as well as City Solicitor, the City Clerk’s office, the Council on Aging, Veterans’ Services and Cultural Development.
Residents who would like give their feedback to Tyer’s budget during the public hearing on Monday evening should call into 312-626-6799 then enter the code: 847 5811 4017.
A second budget hearing beginning 6 p.m. on Wednesday will feature a look at proposed Community Preservation Act funding priorities, and several city departments, including Community Development, the Municipal Airport and the Berkshire Athenaeum. It will also highlight Mayor Linda’s Tyer’s proposal to create a new city Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Last year’s virtual budget hearings featured long and sometimes contentious debates that in some cases stretched into the early morning hours, and this year could unfold similarly, especially as councilors running for reelection seek to make a case to voters to return them to office this fall.
Tuesday’s meeting of the city’s Parks Commission will feature a slate of events approvals, a discussion about final designs for the bike skills course proposed for Springside Park, and a presentation about long-range planning from Parks and Open Spaces Manager Jim McGrath.
Tuesday also marks the start of a new vaccination initiative in Pittsfield: Starting May 18, walk-in and scheduled vaccinations will be offered seven days a week at the Berkshire Health Systems COVID-19 testing site at 505 East St. between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. As always, if you prefer to schedule your vaccine appointment, head to maimmunizations.org.
This summer, the city will have its very own dog park at Burbank Park, and the Animal Control Commission is set to hear an update about the project at its meeting on Wednesday. It will also hold one a nuisance dog hearing regarding a pet living on Elizabeth Road.
And that’s not the only residential animal issue causing a stir in the community. The Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday evening will take up an appeal of decision of the building inspector to allow chickens at 16 Kensington Ave.
The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires and The Berkshire Eagle are hosting the fourth annual Berkshire Nonprofit Awards on Tuesday, hosted by state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox. The virtual event will tip its hat to eight individual honorees as well as the healthcare workers who have been shepherding the region through the pandemic.