1. Articles from maryserreze

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    1. Applications open for Lumberyard affordable apartments in downtown Northampton

      Applications open for Lumberyard affordable apartments in downtown Northampton

      Those interested in learning more about the Lumberyard affordable housing development at 256 Pleasant St. have been invited to attend an informational meeting. Valley Community Development Corporation plans an open house for Saturday, Jan. 5, between 10 and 11 a.m. at Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley St. The new, downtown building, located at the site of the former Northampton Lumber, holds 55 apartments. Forty-three are designated for households with incomes up to 60 percent of the area median, and 12 for low-income households.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    2. Lane Construction sells Northfield gravel pits for $9.6 million

      Lane Construction sells Northfield gravel pits for $9.6 million

      Lane Construction Corp. has sold 13 parcels comprising 300 acres of sand and gravel in West Northfield for nearly $9.6 million. The gravel pit sale to the North Carolina-based Eurovia SAS was recorded at the Franklin County Register of Deeds on Friday. It's one small part of a $555 million selloff of Lane's plants and paving division. The division includes 40 hot mix asphalt facilities in states along the Eastern seaboard and Texas, and several other mining and quarry operations.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    3. Hatfield 'community solar garden project' would cover farmland with energy plant

      Hatfield 'community solar garden project' would cover farmland with energy plant

      Twenty-nine acres of Pioneer Valley farmland could fall to a solar farm -- at least for 25 years. Clean Focus Renewables of Colorado proposes the 5-megawatt, 29-acre Hatfield Community Solar Garden Project. If approved, it would be built near the Whately border on land owned by the Chang Family Trust of South Deerfield. Zach Sawicki, a developer with Clean Focus, recently presented the company's plans to the Hatfield Planning Board, and described a 20,000-panel ground-mounted system.

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    4. River Valley Co-op, eyeing Easthampton site, plans public info session

      River Valley Co-op, eyeing Easthampton site, plans public info session

      Those with questions about plans by River Valley Co-op to open a second store on Rt. 10 in Easthampton could gain more information over the weekend. The upscale natural foods market, now located in Northampton, plans an "Easthampton Store Project Open House & Info Session" on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Eastworks building.  Draft site plans will be on display, market management and board members will be on hand, and representatives from Thomas Douglas Architects and The Berkshire Design Group plan to attend, according to a Facebook post, which says public feedback and input will ...

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    5. Charlemont rejects Comcast broadband offer; opts to build $1.4M fiber optic network

      Charlemont rejects Comcast broadband offer; opts to build $1.4M fiber optic network

      Charlemont has decided to build its own fiber optic broadband network instead of accepting a cheaper cable option from Comcast. The $462,123 Comcast proposal, which would have connected 96 percent of households with high-speed internet, was rejected by town meeting voters last Thursday. The defeat means Charlemont will likely advance a $1.4 million project to create a town-owned fiber network, as approved by town meeting voters in 2015. The Hawlemont Regional School auditorium was filled to the brim, around 160 paper ballots were cast, and in an unofficial count, the Comcast proposal failed by 20 votes, according to ...

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      Mentions: Comcast Westfield
    6. Berkshire Gas moratoriums in Franklin and Hampshire counties to continue indefinitely

      Berkshire Gas moratoriums in Franklin and Hampshire counties to continue indefinitely

      A four-year moratorium on new or expanded natural gas accounts in parts of Franklin and Hampshire counties won't be lifted any time soon. Berkshire Gas Co. president Karen Zink on Nov. 16 sent a letter to more than 300 people and businesses on a waiting list for service. The letter said the moratorium "will have to continue indefinitely due to the limitations on the capacity of the delivery system," and that investments to lift the moratorium would "drive our natural gas service rates well beyond those of competing fuels."

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    7. Former Kocot aide Diana Szynal to lead Franklin County Chamber of Commerce

      Former Kocot aide Diana Szynal to lead Franklin County Chamber of Commerce

      Diana Szynal has been hired to lead the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, the organization announced. She will replace executive director Natalie Blais, who is headed for Beacon Hill. Szynal, a former member of the Hatfield Board of Selectmen, was longtime district director for the late Rep. Peter Kocot of Northampton. She recently ran to fill Kocot's vacant seat in the 1st Hampshire House District, but lost in the Sept. 4 Democratic primary to Lindsey Sabadosa of Northampton.

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    8. With Stop & Shop plans dead, Tasty Top site on market for $3 million in Easthampton

      With Stop & Shop plans dead, Tasty Top site on market for $3 million in Easthampton

      Stop & Shop corporation is no longer interested in building a retail plaza at 93-99 Northampton Road, and the 34-acre site -- home of Tasty Top ice cream and Easthampton Golf -- is on the market for $3 million. Property owner Dennis Courtney told The Republican on Tuesday that "Stop & Shop is totally gone," and that the corporation told him in August that "they had decided not to do the project." Courtney, of Florence, is manager of a family trust that owns the land. The family has owned the property "forever," said Courtney. A large "for sale" sign, directing interested parties to the ...

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    9. Ashfield signs $1.1 million contract to build fiber optic network

      Ashfield signs $1.1 million contract to build fiber optic network

      The Ashfield Select Board this month approved a $1.1 million contract with Infinigy Solutions, LLC to build a town-owned fiber-optic network. A six-month construction window could begin in April, according to the local Ashfield News. The town passed over a more expensive construction bid from Westfield Gas & Electric, whose Whip City Fiber division is building networks in many rural hilltowns. The municipal utility, however, did complete network design work for Ashfield, and will install the final "drops" to homes.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    10. Easthampton wins $3.5 million MassWorks grant to support One Ferry Street redevelopment

      Easthampton wins $3.5 million MassWorks grant to support One Ferry Street redevelopment

      Plans by developer Michael Michon to transform an old mill complex at One Ferry Street into mixed-use housing and commercial space gained traction Friday with the announcement of a state infrastructure grant. "I've got $3.5 million worth of good news today," Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash told a roomful of community leaders gathered at Mill 180, a building which Michon previously rehabilitated.

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    11. Tennessee Gas delineates wetlands for Agawam pipeline project

      Tennessee Gas delineates wetlands for Agawam pipeline project

      Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. has properly delineated wetlands and buffer zones along its proposed 2.1-mile pipeline corridor, according to a third-party consultant's report. Wetland scientist John Prenosil of Belchertown conducted an "unbiased peer review" of wetland boundaries recently defined by Tennessee, and found "two minor issues" which have since been resolved, Prenosil wrote in an Oct. 24 letter to the Conservation Commission.

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    12. Run-down Pride Station in Agawam to be demolished, new 'Pride Kitchen' planned

      Run-down Pride Station in Agawam to be demolished, new 'Pride Kitchen' planned

      Pride Convenience Inc. on Oct. 1 pulled a permit with the city's Building Division to demolish an old service station and car wash at 395 Main St. In its place, a new, 5,400-square-foot "Pride Kitchen" convenience store with gas pumps and a drive-through will be built, Pride Stores CEO Robert L. Bolduc said Thursday. In a telephone interview, Bolduc said demolition will take place this fall, that he will submit applications to the city's Planning Department and that he hopes to start construction in the spring.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    13. Developer plans $43 million mixed-use project at One Ferry Street mill complex in Easthampton

      Developer plans $43 million mixed-use project at One Ferry Street mill complex in Easthampton

      Developer Michael Michon plans an ambitious mixed-use development at One Ferry Street, an abandoned and rambling factory complex built in 1903. The project, which could cost up to $43 million, "includes the demolition, restoration, and construction of select buildings and site improvements to allow for a variety of uses," according to a special permit application submitted to the city on Tuesday.

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    14. Morgan-Sullivan bridge project to last 47 months, MassDOT tells West Springfield crowd

      Morgan-Sullivan bridge project to last 47 months, MassDOT tells West Springfield crowd

      The busy Morgan-Sullivan bridge along Rt. 147 will be reduced to two travel lanes for 36 to 40 months, but preliminary and finish work will extend the time frame further still. "There's basically 47 months of construction," said Shawn Clark, project manager for Northern Construction Service, LLC, which submitted the low bid of $21.5 million to rebuild the Westfield River span linking West Springfield and Agawam. Work started in September. One lane each way will be available this month, and four travel lanes should be restored by spring of 2021. "Full beneficial use" with five lanes is slated ...

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    15. Officials celebrate Comcast broadband expansion in 9 rural Western Massachusetts towns

      Officials celebrate Comcast broadband expansion in 9 rural Western Massachusetts towns

      The towns of Buckland, Chester, Conway, Hardwick, Huntington, Montague, Northfield, Pelham and Shelburne now have vastly expanded internet access. Standing in front of a Comcast-branded backdrop, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joined corporate executives and local officials at the Pelham library Thursday to celebrate the completion of the Broadband Extension Program. Comcast had previously deemed it uneconomic to provide service to most areas of the rural towns, but the company agreed to expand its cable network to 1,089 new premises with a $4 million grant from the state. The grant required that 96 percent of the rural premises be reached.

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      Mentions: Comcast Westfield
    16. State: Environmental Impact Report needed for Tennessee Gas Pipeline projects in Agawam and Longmeadow

      State: Environmental Impact Report needed for Tennessee Gas Pipeline projects in Agawam and Longmeadow

      Tennessee Gas Pipeline must prepare an Environmental Impact Report for its natural gas expansion projects in Agawam and Longmeadow, the Baker administration has ruled. Tennessee, a Kinder Morgan subsidiary, hopes to increase horsepower at its Agawam compressor station, build a new, 12-inch two-mile pipeline loop in Agawam, and construct a "West Longmeadow Meter Station," a delivery gate which would feed a new Columbia Gas pipeline backbone to Springfield. Energy and environment secretary Matthew A. Beaton on Aug. 17 signed a certificate under the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act, or MEPA, requiring better information about air pollution, rare species and wetlands, stream ...

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    17. Easthampton's Naresh Patel closes on Whiskerz Pub purchase; 'Eagles Sports Bar' on tap

      Easthampton's Naresh Patel closes on Whiskerz Pub purchase; 'Eagles Sports Bar' on tap

      The Cottage Street bar long known as "Whiskerz Pub" is no more, and its replacement -- "Eagles Sports Bar" -- opened on Tuesday. The bar is apparently named after the Easthampton High School sports teams, which are known as the "Eagles" and deploy maroon-and-white colors, the same as those displayed on the bar sign. Businessman Naresh K. Patel, who owns several Easthampton properties, recently bought the bar, restaurant, building and land at 71-77 Cottage Street from Eugene "Joe" Bernier, who ran Whiskerz Pub for 16 years. The building contains four apartments on the second floor.

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    18. 'This is big': Gov. Charlie Baker gets update on Whip City Fiber's rural broadband plans

      'This is big': Gov. Charlie Baker gets update on Whip City Fiber's rural broadband plans

      Governor Charlie Baker and his entourage gathered Thursday at Westfield Gas & Electric headquarters to hear an update on rural broadband deployment in Western Massachusetts. "This is big," said Baker to employees of the municipal utility, which is planning and building fiber optic networks in 20 small towns. "You should all be incredibly proud of yourselves." The utility's Whip City Fiber division is partnering with communities that have long struggled without high-speed internet service. Networks are already live in Otis and Alford, and 18 communities are in the queue.

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    19. Tennesee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop

      Tennesee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop

      Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. plans to expand its Agawam compressor station and install a new two-mile pipeline loop to help Columbia Gas of Massachusetts grow its customer base in the Pioneer Valley. Tennesee hosted a site visit in July; plans are described in a 315-page environmental notification form Tennessee filed with Massachusetts regulators in June; and the deadline for public comment was today. Tennessee's new 12-inch diameter buried pipeline would start at the 1615 Suffield Street compressor, cross the road, head north, and cross Shoemaker Lane, Gold Street, and Silver Street before terminating at a tie-in for Columbia's ...

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    20. New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council

      New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council

      In May, a Nebraska company finalized purchase of Berkshire Power Company, LLC, and its 229-megawatt natural gas generator off Shoemaker Lane. Wednesday night, representatives from Tenaska assured the City Council they plan to prioritize safety and the environment in running the 18-year-old power plant, while also giving back to the community. "We have a reputation for safe, reliable, environmentally responsible operation," said Jason Behrens, Tenaska's vice president of strategic development and acquisitions.

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    21. Agawam gets $800,000 in CDBG grants for housing rehab and town hall accessibility

      Agawam gets $800,000 in CDBG grants for housing rehab and town hall accessibility

      Housing rehabilitation and town hall accessibility will get a boost under a competitive Community Development Block Grant awarded to the city this week. Mayor Bill Sapelli traveled to the State House in Boston Friday to accept the $799,750 award from the Department of Housing and Community Development. "We would like to thank the Baker-Polito administration for their generous award and continued support of Agawam and all of Western Massachusetts," said Sapelli.

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    22. Greenfield library gets $9.4 million grant for new building

      Greenfield library gets $9.4 million grant for new building

      Plans to build a new library on Main Street got a boost with the announcement of a $9.38 million state grant. Saturday afternoon, project supporters gathered to celebrate the news from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The entire project cost is around $20.5 million, so the grant halves the amount that might be paid from municipal funds -- and the Greenfield Public Library Association said it would raise funds to further soften the tax blow.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    23. Environmental bond bill could extend Western Massachusetts bike paths, fix water and sewer...

      Environmental bond bill could extend Western Massachusetts bike paths, fix water and sewer...

      Western Massachusetts could see an infusion of public dollars for capital projects under a $2 billion environmental bond bill passed by the state Senate last week. Wish-list amendments to the bill, successfully tacked on by the region's senators, include extending bike paths, upgrading water and sewer plants, fixing dams and reservoirs, cleaning up lakes and rivers, boosting outdoor recreation and improving urban parks.

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    24. Developer signs option agreement to preserve Mt. Tom land in Easthampton

      Developer signs option agreement to preserve Mt. Tom land in Easthampton

      If all goes as planned, nearly 24 acres on the northwestern flank of Mount Tom will be preserved as open space, with parking and access to hiking trails, rather than built as a subdivision called "Red Tail Drive." Developer Gary Campbell last week signed an option agreement with the Amherst-based Kestrel Land Trust, confirmed Mark Wamsley, the organization's conservation manager. He said Easthampton's Passcommuck Conservation Trust helped with funding, and that a pot of money is now being held in escrow.

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