Business Briefs: CDCSB purchases new property; water quality grant for BEAT; BCC’s One Stop Student Success Center; Salisbury Bank promotes Jordan; Bielski joins Berkshire Money Management
Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire purchases new property
Great Barrington — The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire has closed on the purchase of an 8-acre site at 910 South Main St. with plans to build 40 to 50 affordable apartments. The site has approximately 2 acres along Route 7 designated for development and is located in an area that was recently rezoned for use as a 40R Smart Growth Overlay District, which encourages high-density affordable housing.
Acquisition financing is being provided by The Life Initiative and Way Finders Inc. TLI is a $100 million community investment fund created in 1999 by Massachusetts-based life insurance companies that has invested over $300 million in affordable housing development, commercial properties, businesses and community facilities in the last 10 years. Way Finders, a co-sponsor with CDCSB on the project, was formerly known as HAP Housing and provides a full range of housing services as well as being a major developer and manager of high-quality affordable housing throughout western Massachusetts.
Predevelopment financing is being provided by the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, a public-private community development finance institution that provides financial resources and technical expertise for community-based and other nonprofit organizations engaged in effective community development in Massachusetts. This funding enables CDCSB to advance the project into permitting in preparation for the state funding applications due February 2019.
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Berkshire Environmental Action team receives grant for water-quality projects
Pittsfield — Berkshire Environmental Action Team has received a $35,000 grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust that will enable BEAT to continue its work surveying and sampling stormwater outfalls in Berkshire County.
Since 2014, BEAT’s work on water quality has identified over 100 previously unmapped outfalls and, as recently as spring 2017, identified at least one dispensing raw sewage into the Housatonic River (that outfall has since been remediated). The project has trained dozens of citizen scientists to use smartphone technology with a special form that BEAT developed to document stormwater outfalls in Berkshire County and contribute that data to a larger regional database.
According to Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, the Trust will provide over $500,00 in grants to 16 organizations this year, thanks to motorists who choose to purchase one of the Trust’s specialty license plates.
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BCC to create One Stop Student Success Center
Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College has been awarded $5.5 million for a major project that will transform the first floor of its Field Administration Center building into a One Stop Student Success Center. Gov. Charlie Baker announced the award July 10 at Westfield State University as part of a capital investment plan that includes $190 million in fiscal year 2019 for public higher education.
The One Stop Student Success Center concept, aimed at making the admissions and enrollment process easier, was conceived in 2015. The project will renovate the first floor of the Field Administration Center, which currently houses enrollment management, advising, career and transfer services, financial aid and student accounts, admission, and the college registrar.
“When we originally designed the One Stop Student Success Center, we were focusing on student engagement, retention and graduation rates,” said Adam Klepetar, vice president of enrollment management. “The One Stop will do this by making the first floor of Field a student-facing space—a welcoming environment with all key onboarding offices located in one central place, while also creating opportunities for office efficiencies and providing collaborative workspaces for community-based partnerships.”
BCC has been working with Dietz & Company Architects to develop and refine the facilities plan for this project.
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Salisbury Bank promotes Michael Jordan
Lakeville, Conn. — Salisbury Bank has announce the promotion of Michael Jordan to vice president, IT security and service solutions manager. In his new position, Jordan will continue in his role to manage the overall responsibilities of all IT security functions and strategies within the bank, as well as oversee the service solutions function.
Jordan has been with Salisbury Bank for 12 years and has served as assistant vice president, IT security and service solutions manager for the past six years. In addition, he participates in several committees for the bank. He has also been an active member of the Millerton Lions Club for more than eight years.
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John Bielski joins Berkshire Money Management
Dalton — Berkshire Money Management has announced that John Bielski has joined its team of investment professionals. Bielski, a registered investment advisor, brings nearly two decades of experience to BMM, and will focus specifically on the firm’s day-to-day operational responsibilities.
Bielski earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration and finance from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. Originally from Chicopee, Bielski interned at Dion Money Management and decided to plant permanent roots in the Berkshires. He lives in Cheshire with his partner, Kaila; and their daughter, Hannah. In addition to fishing, landscaping and motorcycle excursions, Bielski recently completed his first Rugged Maniac competition.