Look Ahead, Pittsfield: Possible playground for pooches; election season to start simmering


Could Pittsfield be getting a dog park? Some dog owners are champing at the bit, and we're due for an update this week.

The city has loftier plans for a pooch playground at Burbank Park, but as the city seeks outside funding there could be a pilot version coming to the softball complex on East Street. Jim McGrath, the city's parks and natural resource program manager, will update the Animal Control Commission and look to enlist their help with the potential pilot during its meeting 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers.

Mayor Linda Tyer's new plan to give some residents zero-interest loans as they rehabilitate the exterior of their homes will get its first public vetting, 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers, by the City Council Committee on Community and Economic Development.

Speaking of mayoral ambitions, election season is right around the corner — candidacy papers go out the first week in April — and so we should be on the lookout for early announcements in the coming weeks. For Tyer's part, she's slated to formally announce her re-election campaign later this month. Meantime, it remains unclear if anyone will join her in the race.

City Council seats, School Committee members and the city clerk are also up for re-election.

Road work and budget season on the horizon

The city's Public Services Department is preparing to get bids out for this year's road work. Stay tuned this week for a list of roads slated for milling and paving.

City Hall staffers are hard at work on budget proposals, and department heads are in the throes of negotiating funds for services under their supervision. During its Wednesday meeting, the Board of Health will likely discuss the possibility of adding a public health education and promotion coordinator to this year's budget proposal.

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But there's still a bit more Berkshire winter left, and the newly formed Homeless Prevention Committee meets 10 a.m. Tuesday in council chambers to discuss new ways members can collectively help the city's homeless population.

On Monday, the City Council's Ordinances and Rules Committee will consider a new ordinance that would relegate larger solar developments to commercial and industrial districts.

Heads up

The Rusty Anchor Marina is planning a renovation that could expand its footprint, but in order to move forward the business must get a parking waiver from the city's Community Development Board. That body will consider the measure during its meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall room 203.

During that meeting, the board will also consider site plans from two more marijuana retailers. If the two get municipal green lights, they would join eight others. So far there is only one Pittsfield pot shop, Temescal Wellness, open to the general public.

There's talk statewide about overhauling the public school funding formula. There will be a local forum on the topic 5 p.m. Thursday at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Flavours of Malaysia celebrates International Women's Day on Thursday with an event that doubles as a fundraiser for the Elizabeth Freeman Center.

What's up, Pittsfield? Let me know via email at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, or by phone at 413-496-6296. Find me on Twitter @amandadrane.


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