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Nearly 80 percent of all of Pittsfield’s federal coronavirus relief money has been set aside, spent or allocated to city and community projects — leaving about $8.9 million still to use as the city and nation close out the third year of the pandemic.
Shire City Herbals, a manufacturer of vinegar-based tonics that lost a well-publicized federal court case over exclusive use of the phrase "fire cider," closed Friday. Supply-chain problems and a divorce proceeding are said to be factors in the company's demise.
In the year since the first of the federal coronavirus relief money was delivered to Pittsfield's bank accounts, officials have allocated or earmarked close to $23 million worth of projects — slightly more than half what's headed to the city.
The community-led projects focus on childcare, housing, education, arts programs and supportive services for formerly incarcerated people, people struggling with substance use disorders and under-resourced residents.
Property owners say that though construction and financing of the project has been delayed during the pandemic, they believe they can break ground this spring and open the new hotel by May 2023.
Pittsfield has announced earmarks for more than $7 million in projects since getting American Rescue Plan Act money in May. Its first report to the Treasury Department shows that spending of that money has been conservative.
The city of Pittsfield on Monday formally invited city residents, businesses and organizations to apply for $6 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding that it has received.
Passenger rail service between Berkshire County and New York City could begin in summer 2022, as long as the company that owns part of the tracks agrees to allow Amtrak to operate service on those tracks.
Major repairs and updates to the city's Ashley Water Treatment Plant, upgrades to the Berkshire Family YMCA's child care center, and a second round of funding for the At Home in Pittsfield renovation project are the big-ticket items earmarked by city officials for money from federal coronavirus aid money.
Mayor Linda Tyer selected familiar faces in Deanna Ruffer, the Community Development director, and Gina Armstrong, the former Health Department director, to oversee the city's use of almost $41 million in American Rescue Plan Act money.