Home Borrower Pittsfield City Council approves $1.25 million loan for capital and equipment improvement projects

Pittsfield City Council approves $1.25 million loan for capital and equipment improvement projects


PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield City Council this week agreed to borrow $1.25 million for road paving, bridge and culvert work and fire department equipment.

Council held a public hearing Tuesday on an ordinance allowing the city to borrow up to $2.09 million for capital improvement projects, including $1 million for road paving, $70,000 for bridge and culvert repairs, $600,000 to buy a fire truck, $180,000 to buy a dump truck, $60,000 to buy a truck for the city’s highway department, and $180,000 for self-contained breathing apparatus for city firefighters.

After hearing residents’ concerns about how a large loan could impact Pittsfield’s property tax rate, councilors approved the order, but agreed they didn’t want a single loan for all projects. Instead, they decided to take out a loan for road paving, bridge and culvert repairs, and firefighter breathing equipment because the projects or equipment are urgently needed.

“I want this to be done in a responsible way, where we don’t set records on our tax rates just to get the latest shiny and best things, but to do it the right way, scrappy, small , because we’re a rambling little town,” one resident said at the meeting.

By approving the overall ordinance for all projects, the other elements – the dump truck, the street truck and the fire engine – can still move forward, but would be brought back before the city council at a later date.

“Everything here would have to be re-approved by us,” Councilman Jason Hall said.

Municipal authorities plan to work on road paving and bridge and culvert work this summer, so the loan application is due soon.

Chief Bernard Williams said the fire department’s breathing equipment was in poor condition and the department was paying for repeated repairs, prompting advisers to address the issue immediately.

Advisors asked if the fire department needed 20 sets of breathing equipment and if it would be possible to stagger the purchases, buying less at a time to avoid a costly purchase.

Williams said the department needed 20 sets to comply with regulations, and the purchase cannot be staggered as equipment technology is constantly being updated, so having sets from different years could create problems. training problems and making the equipment difficult to use.

The city council chose to request a 10-year repayment period for the loan in order to reduce the city’s interest costs, and because the life of the equipment is approximately 15 years. Advisors said they did not want to pay the loan after the equipment was no longer usable.

In other areas, Mayor Michael Cianchette presented a plaque to former councilor Tim Nichols to thank Nichols for the 24 years he served on city council, making him the longest-serving councilor in city history. Pittsfield.

“It’s just a tiny piece of our appreciation for what you’ve done for this city, and we can’t put a value on it,” Cianchette said. “We cannot say how much you were appreciated, and it was an honor for me personally to serve with you.”

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