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Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito took a trip out to Berkshire County on Thursday to meet up with local officials to discuss issues and upcoming plans for the western region of the Commonwealth.

The trip included a tour of small businesses in Pittsfield, MA, the awarding of grants to replace or renovate small bridges, and the signing of the two newest Community Compacts with the towns of Lanesborough and Windsor. The Baker-Polito administration has once again reaffirmed their dedication to reaching out to every community in the Commonwealth to ensure that their voices are heard.

Discussing small businesses, downtown development, and more in Pittsfield

There was a hopeful ring about the Lt. Governor’s walk through downtown Pittsfield. After visiting small businesses and shops in the area, Lt. Governor Polito announced her hopes for housing development and the advancement of the manufacturing industry to grow jobs in Pittsfield.

With Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tayer by her side, Lt. Governor pledged her support to the future of the Pittsfield economy, as noted by The Berkshire Eagle, “We are good at collaborating, we are good at putting infrastructure dollars in place … to attract private developers.”

Development of the three stops — the Onota Building, the Beacon Cinema, and Hotel on North — relied on a combination of private and public funding. For the Onota Building, it was the state funding that helped owner and developer Louis Allegrone create the 25 market rate apartments.

“It was that last piece that made it work,” he told Polito in the apartment building’s lobby.

Awarding first project grants from the administration’s small bridge program

After her tour of Pittsfield, Lt. Governor Polito stopped by Lenox to announce a small bridge award for the Middlefield, Blanford, and Gore Road Bridges. The award is part of a larger $50 million grant program to repair municipally owned small bridges that are not eligible for federal aid.

The repairs to these bridges are crucial to the uninterrupted flow of traffic. For example, the detour for the Middlefield Road Bridge is 15 miles around. In the case of an emergency, without the bridge, it would take emergency personnel upwards of one hour to respond.

The bridge repairs are consistent with the Baker-Polito administration’s goal of safe, efficient transportation for all. “We are committed to working closely with cities and towns throughout the commonwealth to achieve our shared transportation goals,” said Lt. Governor Polito.

Windsor and Lanesborough become Community Compact partners

While on her road trip to Western Massachusetts, Lt. Governor Polito also signed her 263rd and 264th Community Compacts with Windsor and Lanesborough, respectively. Lt. Governor Polito’s Community Compact initiative has strengthened ties with hundreds of cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

In the Windsor compact, the Commonwealth pledged that the Division of Local Services’ Technical Assistance Bureau (TAB) will work with the town to develop a long-range financial forecast and capital plan in order to improve financial management operations.

In the Lanesborough compact, grants were awarded to hire consultants to work with the town on an economic development plan, as well as storm-water management.

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