100 Bridge Street project submits application for final funding
Great Barrington — The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire recently submitted a funding application to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development for the property the CDC owns at 100 Bridge St. If awarded, the funds will provide the final financing needed to build 45 new affordable rental units, Bentley Apartments, and remediate the entire 8-acre site along the Housatonic River in downtown Great Barrington.
“We applied for the final funds in February,” said CDCSB’s executive director Tim Geller. “The DHCD funding will announce these extremely competitive funding awards in July.”
CDCSB submitted the funding application in partnership with Berkshire Housing Development Corporation; the project’s co-sponsor, Dietz and Company Architects Inc. in Springfield; and MBL Housing and Development in Amherst. The funding application included construction drawings that are 90 percent complete. When funded, the work will be put out to bid to regional contractors. In 2017, the 100 Bridge Street project was awarded a $123,000 Berkshire Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund Grant from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, which completes the funds necessary for the clean-up of the property.
The Bentley Apartments complex represents the first phase of CDCSB’s ongoing plans to create much-needed affordable housing and a center for economic growth in Great Barrington. The new units include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for families with incomes of up to $48,000, offering rental apartments at significantly lower-than-market rates.
The plan’s New England-style apartments were recently redesigned to better fit the style and aesthetic of the neighborhood, while plans for a riverfront park will showcase the natural space of downtown.
Of the recent redirection of state MassWorks funds by the town of Great Barrington from Bridge Street to Railroad Street, CDCSB Geller said: “This was a smart and utilitarian decision by the town and one that has zero impact on the development progress with Bentley Apartments. The portions of the MassWorks grant that directly support the affordable housing component of the site remain in place. We are optimistic in our application to DHCD and look forward to the progress of this important development and the positive impact it will have on the town.”
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Expedia names Lenox a top literary destination
Lenox — The Lenox Chamber of Commerce has announced that travel-booking website Expedia has named Lenox one of its “20 Must-see literary destinations around the world.”
An Expedia poll found that books inspire vacations for 78 percent of Americans, so the site sought out destinations around the globe and rated them on four criteria: quality of bookstores, literary history of the city, literary events and educational opportunities in the literature field.
According to the article by travel writer Lily Rogers: “… Lenox is paved with literary gold, and you’ll see why the area was so inspirational to brilliant artistic minds … Edith Wharton’s gorgeous house and grounds, The Mount, brings literature lovers to Lenox to see where the first female Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction lived and worked. The Bookstore is a charming community fixture, which encourages visitors to ‘get lit’ at the on-site wine bar.”
Said Lenox Chamber of Commerce marketing director Jamie Trie: “Lenox has long been known as a mecca for literary and artistic notables, both historically and in current times. It’s exciting to be recognized alongside locations such as Prague, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Stockholm.”
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Salisbury Bank announces employee awards
Lakeville, Conn. — Salisbury Bank has announced awards it has given to deserving employees for the year 2017.
The Employee of the Year Award celebrates the customer service, leadership, professionalism, enthusiasm, knowledge and strong work ethic of one outstanding employee, and has been awarded to Steven Kulikowski of Amenia, New York. Kulikowski began working at Salisbury Bank in 2015 as an IT specialist and in the same year, achieved the A+ certification.
The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an employee who consistently volunteers on behalf of Salisbury Bank and was awarded, for the third year in a row, is Michele LaPlante of Canaan. LaPlante began working for Salisbury Bank in 2009 as an e-banking specialist, transferring to trust operations in 2012.
The Rookie of the Year Award, which recognizes an employee who has stepped up during their first year of working with Salisbury Bank, was awarded to Michael Hogan of Salisbury, who started working with Salisbury Bank in June 2017 as a finance specialist and is primarily responsible for the bank’s accounts payable function.
The 2017 President’s Award was presented to the bank’s finance department of Peter Albero, Ronald Myers, Robert Lotz, Laura Bosio, Hogan, Rory Goodman and Lynne Storti in recognition of a high-functioning, cohesive team.
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BCArc promotes Hall to director of staff development and training
Pittsfield — Berkshire County Arc has announced the promotion of Shaun Hall to director of staff development and training. Hall has been with BCArc for 18 years and was given the 2017 BCArc Employee of the Year award.
Seven years ago, Hall was promoted to the position of staff development specialist, standardizing training throughout the agency. He has added three additional staff to his team to create the staff development and training department, which now ensures annual training plans that meet the skill requirements for all agency positions, incorporates an online training resource for staff development and oversees the development of electronic files for all individuals served by BCArc.
Hall lives in Lee with his wife and four daughters. His community activities include assistant coaching Lee High School junior varsity girls’ basketball, and coaching travel and recreational basketball and soccer, and making fried dough for Lee’s Founders Weekend.