PITTSFIELD — A proposal from Lee Bank for a new location at South and Reed streets will get a second chance before the City Council on Tuesday evening.

The bank is returning to the council two months after it was instructed to find a compromise with South Street business owners who were concerned about the bank’s plan to change a portion of residential Reed Street from one-way to two-way traffic.

Pittsfield council tells Lee Bank, potential neighbors to find middle ground over Reed Street concerns

After several weeks of Lee Bank asking that the item be tabled by the council to allow for more time to work things out with neighbors and city officials, it looks like the bank is ready to present its plan.

Representatives from the bank are hoping to secure approval from the council for a drive-thru permit and for changing the first 290 feet after South Street on Reed Street to two-way traffic.

Bank representatives have said the window and traffic change are keys to their plans for a new two-story home for the bank and three market-rate apartments.

Mapping the future

Pittsfield 2021 ward map closeup

Pittsfield lost 810 people from the time of the 2010 census to the 2020 census, which means slight alterations for the city's ward and precinct map. 

Also, councilors will vote on a request to approve new ward boundaries as city officials redistrict based on 2020 census data. Population counts for the city declined by 810 people during the past decade, bringing the city’s official population count to 43,927.

'Encouraging' census results as Berkshire County grows more diverse, population loss slows

If approved by the council Tuesday, the new ward boundaries would go into effect Dec. 31. Don’t expect major changes to the city’s ward map, though. Most of the changes will be seen at the precinct level.

The new boundaries would shift about 100 people in Ward 1 from Precinct A to Precinct B, about 30 people in Ward 6 from Precinct A to Precinct B, and about 30 people in Ward 7 from Precinct B to Precinct A.

Huddling over a ‘quarterback’

Mayor Linda Tyer’s request for the creation of a special projects manager — or American Rescue Plan Act “quarterback” — and chief diversity officer are back on the council agenda.

The special projects manager would oversee planning for the more than $40 million the city is set to receive in coronavirus aid from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The city is proposing that the position come with a salary range of about $84,000 to $109,000, to be covered by ARPA money.

The chief diversity officer position, a recommendation from the mayor’s special study group on diversity, equity and inclusion, comes with a proposed salary range of about $69,000 to $90,000.

The officer would head a proposed DEI office, which would be responsible for creating a workforce-inclusion plan, measuring DEI work in an affirmative action annual report, and developing guidelines for more equitable practices in city hiring, training and retention.

School safety

On Wednesday, the School Committee will receive an update from Pittsfield Public Schools administrators on the state of public safety in the district. Superintendent Joseph Curtis promised committee members to run through discipline incidents, at the upcoming meeting, after committee members expressed their dismay with recent fights in the district’s middle and high schools.

With school resource officers' roles on front burner, questions on the program asked, answered

The fights have reignited a push by some community members to increase the number of school resource officers working in the middle and high schools. The School Committee voted at its last meeting to refrain from discussing that topic until the district can hire a consultant to perform a community survey on police in schools.


Lakeside Christian Camp

Members of the public and Conservation Commission will get a chance to walk the grounds of the former Lakeside Christian Camp on Friday, and hear Mill Town Capital's plans for a sports-focused revitalization of the property.

The Conservation Commission and public are invited to walk the grounds of the former Lakeside Christian Camp on Friday, to hear how Mill Town Capital plans to launch a sports revival at the site.

The site visit will start at 3 p.m., and representatives from Mill Town plan to describe to the commission and public how they will add new baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, tennis and basketball facilities throughout the 135-acre property.

Meg Britton-Mehlisch can be reached at mbritton@berkshireeagle.com or 413- 496-6149.