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Today is Saturday, August 29, 2015.

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Airport

Why are the safety and runway improvements necessary?
The FAA has mandated that the Pittsfield Municipal Airport ("PSF") comply with federal safety regulations. These safety regulations require 1,000 feet of runway safety areas on each end of runway. PSF does not currently comply with these regulations. The airport now has safety areas of about 100 feet and 200 feet on either end of the main runway. These safety regulations make sense when applied to PSF. Unfavorable weather conditions frequently cause aircraft to divert away from PSF to other airports in the region. When the runway is wet, icy, or covered with snow, braking action is reduced and jets need a larger area to ensure safety. The combination of enhanced runway safety areas with runway extensions will result in an infrastructure that is better equipped to serve the businesses and private aircraft that use our airport.

Who pays for the $40 million renovations?
The FAA Airport Improvement Program is the funding mechanism used for general aviation projects. This program identifies funding commitments from the federal, state, and local governments. The federal share of most project costs is 95% which comes from a general user fee account accumulated through fees paid by those that use airports around the country. The state share is 2.5% via the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission ("MAC") and the local share for most components of the project is 2.5% which the City of Pittsfield is responsible for and is currently estimated at $2.1 million. The MAC was also authorized to bond $11.4 million from a Transportation Bond bill approved by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1997. The city's funds have been set -aside in a dedicated fund by the city council.

DPW-Administration

Where may I obtain a recycling bin or a recycling schedule?
Recycling bins and recycling schedules may be obtained at the office of the DPW/U in the basement of City Hall or at the Allied Waste located at 485 South State Road in Chesire, Massachusetts. You must be a resident of Pittsfield to receive a recycle bin. Click on this link for a printable recycling schedule

Where may I obtain a parking permit to park in a Municipal Parking Area?
Call the DPW/U Administration Office (499-9330) to verify if there is available space in the parking lot of interest. Most of our lots have waiting lists, anyone can be added to the lists. As vacancies become available, we will call you to come to the DPW/U administration office in City Hall to issue a permit to you. You will need to pay (check or cash) for the first monthís payment. You will then be mailed a bill for your parking permit on a monthly basis. For additional questions about parking permits, please call 499-9330.

Who do I call if my trash has not been picked up?
Call Allied Waste at 413-442-8390.

Who do I call with questions about my water & sewer bill?
The DPW/U Administration Office at 413-499-9330.

Where can I dispose of my yard waste?
Leaves and grass clippings can be put into clear garbage bags and dropped at Covanta, 500 Hubbard Avenue in Pittsfield. There is no charge to drop leaves and grass clippings. There is a charge of $3.00 per bundle of brush (4-foot long by 2-foot diameter). Covanta may be reached at 413-443-7373.

Where do I dispose of hazardous waste?
The DPW hosts an annual household hazardous waste collection at the Highway facility at 232 West Housatonic Street. This event is advertised well in advance to promote it.

What should I do if a snow emergency is declared?
For the duration of the snow emergency, which covers the period of the storm as well as the time required for the City to clean up and sand the streets after the storm ends: No vehicle is permitted to be parked or to be allowed to stand unattended on any street or way that is required to be plowed by the City. No vehicle is permitted to park or stand unattended on any open municipal parking lot between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., so the lots may be plowed and sanded. Vehicles found in violation of the above parking regulations may be towed at the vehicle owner's expense. For the duration of the snow emergency, individuals who have no off-street parking available may park their cars in the three-hour public parking areas of the McKay Center and Columbus Avenue parking garages without penalty. City residents are encouraged to clear snow from the sidewalks abutting their property and around fire hydrants located near their houses. It is a violation of City ordinance to plow or otherwise dispose of snow onto City streets.

Who do I call to request streetlight repairs?
Please refer all streetlight maintenance requests to Republic ITS at 1-800-LIGHTSO (1-800-544-4876). Please have the following information available when requesting streetlight maintenance: *Problem (Light Outage, Cycling on and off, Light on during day) *Streetlight pole number (Pole # is facing street at eye level) *Street address closest to the light problem *Cross street nearest the light problem *Callers name and phone number (in the event the driver can't find the outage or has questions)

Engineering

What is the procedure for installing a water meter?
You must apply for a water meter permit at the Engineering Office in the City Hall. Once you have the permit, which is free of charge, you must hire a licensed plumber to install the water meter. As soon as the water meter is installed, you must call the Engineering Office at (413) 499-9327 to schedule an inspection. If you fail to obtain a permit or have the meter inspected, then we will not know to switch your scheduled account to a metered account and you will continue to be billed as a scheduled account.

What are the requirements for a contractor to do work within the City of Pittsfield?
The contractor shall provide The City of Pittsfield Engineering Division with a signed contract by the company owner/president, a certificate of insurance, and a performance and licensing bond in the amount of $5000.00.

Where can I find out where my property boundaries are located?
The Engineering Division provides copies of maps for a small fee. Click here for a list of print fees

Health

What are my rights as a tenant and/or landlord in reference to the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code (Housing Code)?
The Attorney Generalís office released a comprehensive guide to tenants/landlord rights in 2007. This guide addresses many laws, requirements, and obligations for both parties. Click here to access the guide: http://www.mass.gov/Cago/docs/Consumer/LandlordTenant073007.pdf

Where can I access the Housing Code?
Cities and Towns in Massachusetts follow the State Sanitary Code, 105 CMR 410.00: Minimum Standards Fitness for Human Habitation. The City of Pittsfield conducts routine inspections throughout the city as well as following up on all complaints using these laws. Click here for a copy of the State Sanitary Code: http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/regs/105cmr410.pdf

Are landlords required to provide heat for residential property?
Landlords must provide a heating system for each apartment or one system that services all apartments in good working order. The landlord must pay for the fuel to provide heat, hot water, and electricity; unless the written rental agreement states that the tenant must pay for them.

What temperature should landlords maintain on the rental property?
Landlords are required to supply heating and must keep it on from September 15 through June 15. Temperature must be maintained at 68 degrees during the day (7:00 AM-11:00 PM) and 64 at night. If there is a problem with the heat, tenants should first contact the landlord to report the problem. If the problem persists, you many file a formal complaint with the Health Department. In case of an emergency or extreme weather conditions, please call 911.

Can a utility company shut off my services?
Massachusetts law prevents utility companies from shutting off services to people in special situations. Each utility company in MA must follow the law and provide service to households that qualify for shutoff protection. Seniors, low income families with infants, people with serious illnesses who cannot afford to pay their bills, tenants with landlords that are responsible for utility bills, and low income people who would be without heat during the winter are eligible for utility shut off protection. If a landlord is responsible for paying the gas or electric bills but doesnít pay them, a utility company cannot shut off the services for non-payment without giving a 30 day notice. Tenants have a right to take over the payments to prevent a shutoff and deduct it from their rent.

What is a nuisance and what are my responsibilities as a home owner?
A nuisance is a violation in which the public health and safety may be compromised or the quality of life is being impacted or diminished upon. A nuisance can be tall grass over 10 inches high, garbage put out more than 24 hours prior to pick up, violations that constitute a blight in a neighborhood, illegal dumping, not having a bulky waste sticker, and the accumulation of white good and/or other debris on properties. The City of Pittsfield has a comprehensive inspectional services program to eliminate all nuisances and if found, property owners may be cited and fined if not removed within 24 hours. If fines are not paid, fees can be attached to property taxes and a municipal lien can be placed on properties. It is the obligation of every property owner to prevent any nuisance from occurring and therefore should be prevented. To file a complaint of a nuisance, please contact the Health Department.

What are bedbugs and what are my obligations of a landlord or tenant if found?
Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs and their relatives have evolved as nest parasites. Although a major nuisance, they are not known to carry and transfer diseases. For more information on bed bugs, please visit: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/bedbugs/ In accordance with the Housing code, if bed bugs are present and there are two (2) units or more, the landlord is responsible for to removal of the bedbugs. If there are less than two (2) units, tenants are responsible for removing them.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?
To prevent bedbugs from occurring and reducing the potential of transferring from place to place, be sure to avoid obtaining used mattresses, inspecting used furniture prior to purchasing and get educated on the signs and symptoms of bedbugs. These tips will reduce the potential of attracting bed bugs and visit the this link for additional information: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/bedbugs/ If using a pest control company, be sure you obtain multiple quotes and confirm that the company is experienced in bed bug removal.

What are the Health Department permitting requirements for food service and other temporary events such as residential kitchens and farmerís markets?
The Pittsfield Health Department requires various permits to operate in the City. If a Pittsfield business has a current license to operate a restaurant, they do not need additional permits for special events. For out of town vendors, you will need a copy of your current townís Board of Health license, a copy of your food protection Managerís certificate and a completed application with fee. For Farmerís Markets, if you are only selling fresh produce, you are exempt from permitting requirements, but if you intend to sell pies, frozen meats, canned jams, and other products, you may need a retail food permit. Please call the Department to confirm in what is required. For Residential Kitchens, you may only prepare and serve non-potentially hazardous food such as baked goods, pies and cakes that are non custard and other limited items. Please contact the Department for permitting requirements.

Are food service workers required to wear gloves?
In accordance with 105 CMR 590.00: Minimum Standards for Food Services Facilities, food services workers are required to wear non-latex gloves when handling ready to eat food products. Ready to eat foods include food that is edible without washing, cooking, or additional preparation such as raw fruits, vegetables, salads, buns, and desserts.

How often does the Pittsfield Health Department inspect restaurants?
The Pittsfield Health Department inspects all food service and retail food facilities three times a year as well an inspecting upon receiving complaints. All inspection reports are public record and may be viewed upon request. Please call 499-9411 to schedule an appointment to view food inspection results.

What is a food borne illness and what can I do if I am diagnosed with one?
Foodborne illnesses are caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Harmful chemicals can also cause foodborne illnesses if they have contaminated food during harvesting or processing. Foodborne illnesses can cause symptoms that range from an upset stomach to more serious symptoms, including diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. Most foodborne infections are undiagnosed and unreported, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every year about 76 million people in the United States become ill from pathogens, or disease-causing substances, in food. Of these people, about 5,000 die. If diagnosed with a foodborne illness, the Pittsfield Board of Health will conduct an investigation to determine the cause and to prevent further spread.

What is the bacteriological laboratory program?
In 2009, the Health Department created and implemented a new laboratory program in which there are now capabilities to assess environmental and sanitary conditions at public beaches, semi-public pools, and ice in restaurants. All public and semi- public beaches and pools are required under the State Sanitary Code to be tested weekly and monthly (respectively) to ensure there are no environmental and health risks in the community. The Department also implemented a voluntary ice sampling program to assess and monitor sanitary conditions in restaurants to ensure that ice used for consumption is free from bacteria. There is a nominal feel for sampling and the benefits of enrolling into the program include: (1) confirmation that your ice meets drinking water standards and is free from contaminants, (2) unlimited consultation to assist restaurant staff in reducing the potential for contamination, and (3) a master list of facilities enrolled is available to the public and routinely published that informs the community that businesses are committed to meeting high standards. For more information on the program, please contact the Health Department.

What is the Tobacco Smoke-Free Workplace Law and are there any other regulations regarding smoking?
In 2004, Massachusetts passed the Smoke-Free Workplace Law eliminating smoking in all public places, municipal vehicles, and all other enclosed spaces and has setback distances to eliminate second hand smoke from migrating into buildings. The Pittsfield Board of Heath promulgated more stringent regulations in 2007 enforcing a ten (10) foot setback rule from public building and does not allow an exemption for smoking in private clubs. All public buildings in the City are now smoke free and if you witness a violation or would like to file a complaint, please notify the Health Department. The Pittsfield Board of Health also requires all retail clerks that sell tobacco products to first be certified through a training program. All new employees have thirty (30) days from the date of hire to be certified. For more information of the Retail Clerk Certification, please contact Tri-Town Health Department at 243-5540 or Pittsfield Health Department at 499-9411.

Where can I obtain a seasonal influenza shot and what can I do to avoid obtaining the flu?
Seasonal flu shot are usually offered from September thru February of each season and there are many outlets in which you can obtain the vaccine. Primary care providers, Visiting Nurse Associations, various clinics, and pharmacies also provide them as well. Please check with the vendor of the requirements of obtaining the vaccine and the costs associated. To find a flu clinic near you, visit this site: http://flu.masspro.org/clinic/index Getting the seasonal flu shot, proper handwashing, cough/sneeze into the elbow, and staying at home when you are sick will reduce the potential from contracting the flu. If using sanitizer, be sure the alcohol content is above 60%. For more information regarding the influenza, H1N1, or other materials please click here: www.cdc.gov or www.mass.gov

Where can I find information regarding a communicable disease and other useful information?
The State Department of Public Health and local Boards of Health are required by law to investigate, report, and prevent communicable diseases and further spread in the community. You can contact your local Board of Health or visit this website for additional information: www.mass.gov/dph

What is a Board of Health and how often do they meet?
The Board of Health is a five (5) member board appointed by the Mayor and is responsible for establishing policies and procedures to protect public health under the authority of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 111, section 31. Each member has a three year appointment that is staggered. The Board of Health meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM, located in City Hall.

Who should I contact for questions regarding public health?
The Health Department hours of operation are 8:30-4:00 PM, Monday thru Friday and the contact number is 413-499-9411 or email: health@pittsfieldch.com to ask questions, request and inspections, or file a complaint. For the State Department of Public Health: www.mass.gov Centers For Disease Control: www.cdc.gov Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov MA Department of Environmental Protection: www.mass.gov/dep/

Highway

Who do I call to report a fallen or dead tree on city property?
Always report downed or dead city trees to the Highway Division at 413-499-9314. Please leave your name, number, and location of the tree. The Highway Department will send a representative to inspect the tree and determine the immediate needs to ensure public safety.

Who do I call to request streetlight repairs?
Please refer all streetlight maintenance requests to Republis ITS at 1-800-LIGHTSO (1-800-544-4876). Please have the following information available when requesting streetlight maintenance: *Problem (Light outage, Cycling on and off, Light on during day) *Streetlight pole number (Pole # is facing street at eye level) *Street address closest to light problem *Cross street nearest the light problem *Callers name and phone number (In the event the driver can't find the outage or has questions)

Who do I call to report a pothole?
Always report potholes to the Highway Division at 413-499-9314. Please be sure to leave the location of the pothole, your name and phone number in case we need additional information from you.

Who do I call with regard to questions about street plowing?
Please call the Highway Division at 413-499-9314. We have an extremely well trained and dedicated staff. The Highway Department maintains 400 lane miles of city streets. They track the weather hour by hour from November 1 through the middle of April, and they measure outside temperatures as well as pavement temperatures in the effort to keep our streets free of snow and ice. Working hand in hand with the Police Department and weather spotters, the City of Pittsfieldís Highway Department is on the job and ready to provide the public with years of experience and quality results. In an effort to help us help you, during inclement weather, please keep garbage cans off the street, and to avoid having your vehicle towed, please adhere to the off street parking ordnances. This information can also be obtained through our automated voicemail at 413-499-9314.

Who do I report a dead animal in the road to?
Call Allied Waste at 413-442-8390 for all road kill except dogs and cats. Please report dead dogs or cats in the street to Animal Control at 413-448-9750.

What are the winter parking restrictions?
Parking is prohibited on the improved or paved surface of any street during the hours of 11:00 pm to 7:00 am from December 1 through March 31.

Parks and Recreation

How do I find out about youth and adult athletics?
The Recreation Activities Coordinator maintains an athletic table on our website with contacts and information on various organizations who offer athletic opportunities. Copy and paste the link: http://www.pittsfield.com/city_departments/parks_and_recreation/athletics.htm

Do I need to have a permit for a special event in a park?
In order to request permission to use the Pittsfield public parks for events, you must obtain and submit a Special Events Permit Application. In addition to submitting the application and going through the sign off process, the applicant must go before the Parks Commission to obtain approval for the use of the park requested. Requests must be submitted to the Licensing Board Clerk 45 days prior to the event date. Consult with Parks & Recreation Program Staff about your type of event at 499-9368. For more information, copy and paste the link: http://www.pittsfield.com/city_departments/parks_and_recreation/park_use_request_information.htm

When does the Park Commission meet?
The Park Commission meets the third Tuesday of every month.

How do I rent the portable Artabout Stage?
Contact the Recreation Activities Coordinator at 499-9370 for availability and pricing. Reservations can be made beginning the third full week in January. Reservations are first come, first serve; the stage is popular in the summer.

What is the length of Clapp Park's track?
The length of the track is 1/3 of a mile.

What is the length of Belanger Park Facility's track?
The length of the track is 1/4 of a mile.

How do I rent the Controy Pavilion?
The rental of the Controy Pavilion is overseen by the Building & Grounds Maintenance Department. Contact the department at 499-9476 for availability, pricing and reservation process.

How do I go about reserving a play/practice field?
The availability of play/practice fields is limited during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. Obtain a Field Use Request Form from the Recreation Program and submit it to the Building & Grounds Maintenance Department. Contact the department at 499-9476 for availability of fields.

Personnel

What is civil service?
State and municipal employees may be hired and promoted under the civil service merit system in accordance with Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 31 and the Personnel Administration Rules. Civil service appointments are generally made by appointing authorities who select qualified applicants who have taken a competitive examination or completed a registration process. The Civil Service Unit within the Human Resources Division is responsible for overseeing the administration of the Massachusetts civil service merit system. Visit the website of the Human Resources Division at http://www.mass.gov/hrd/employment/civilservice.htm.

What is the Civil Service Commission?
The Civil Service Commission hears and decides appeals of public employees under the protection of civil service laws by ensuring that employment decisions are based on the relative ability, knowledge and skills of the public employee, and to ensure that all individuals receive fair and impartial treatment. Generally, the Civil Service Commission hears bypass, disciplinary and reclassification appeals for public service employees. Visit the Civil Service Commissionís website at http://www.mass.gov/csc/.

How do I obtain information about upcoming civil service examinations?
The Personnel Department issues press releases to local news and media agencies regarding upcoming civil service examinations. In addition, information on upcoming civil service examinations is available by visiting the Personnel Department located on the first floor of City Hall, Room 107, City Hall, 70 Allen Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201, (413) 499-9340. Also, visit the Human Resources Division website where you may apply on-line for scheduled civil service examinations. http://www.mass.gov/hrd/employment/em_civil_service/civil_service_examinations.htm,

Purchasing

Does my company have to pay Prevailing Wages?
The City is required to pay Prevailing Wages and maintain vendor payroll records on the trades required. A listing of the trades can be viewed on the Department of Occupational Services web site.

How can I obtain information about a posted or advertised bid?
You can obtain information by visiting the Purchasing Office at City Hall or by calling 413-499-9470.

How do I know when the City is interested in making a purchase?
The newspaper. Most City bidding documents for materials or services over $25,000 are advertised in the Berkshire Eagle. Secretary of State Weekly Publications Goods & Services for purchases over $100,000, Central Register for public works materials & construction over $10,000, and building repair & construction purchases over $25,000. Local Postings. All bidding documents are posted at Pittsfield City Hall, 70 Allen Street, Office of the Purchasing Agent. Internet (http://www.pittsfield.com/biddopp.asp) All bidding documents are posted on the City of Pittsfield web page. Click on the Purchasing Department, Bidding Opportunities.

What is an Invitation for Bid (IFB) and how do I bid?
The IFB explains what the City is seeking to purchase and what is required of a successful bidder. Although there are some requirements common to all IFBs, each IFB is unique. Interested bidders must read an entire IFB carefully to determine the requirements for a given procurement and which forms and attachments may be required in their response submission.

After receiving a notification of the IFB, my company is interested. How do we obtain the bid documents, including any plans, specifications and terms?
Contact or visit the Purchasing Department. Most bid documents have a fee, some are refundable and some are not. The Purchasing Department will give you that information when contacted. Also, any applicable fees are listed under the specific project on the Bidding Opportunities page of this web site.

How can I obtain information about a posted or advertised bid?
You can obtain information by visiting the Purchasing Office at City Hall or by calling 413-499-9470.

What is required in order to business with the City?
Employer Identification Numbers. To do business with the City, contractors must have an employer identification number (EIN). This number is sometimes also referred to as FID (federal identification number). FEIN (federal employer identification number) or TIN (taxpayer identification number). Federal, state and City Government allow sole proprietorships with no employees to file tax forms under a Social Security Number (SSN).

Does my company have to provide bonds?
Public Works construction projects require the successful bidder to provide a Payment Bond from a surety in the amount of 50% of the bid price within 5 days of being awarded the work if the project exceeds $2,000.

Does my company have to provide insurance coverage?
Yes. Please use the following link for detailed requirements City Insurance Coverage.

Waste Water Treatment

Does the City provide tours of the Wastewater Treatment Plant?
Yes, you can obtain information regarding a tour by calling 413-499-9304.

How much wastewater is treated at the Wastewater Treatment plant in one day?
As of 1995, 12,000,000 gallons of wastewater flow are treated per day.

How are sludges in the plant processed for disposal?
All sludges are digested in the anaerobic digesters, dewatered to approximately 20% solids, and then hauled to an incinerator in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Where does the facility discharge the treated effluent?
The Housatonic River in accordance with an EPA discharge permit.

Does the storm water system in the streets discharge to the sanitary sewer collection system then ultimately flow to the Wastewater Treatment Plant?
No, the storm water systems typically discharge to a nearby water body.

When was the wastewater treatment plant built?
The first treatment plant on the Holmes Road site was built circa 1900 with upgrades in 1915, 1937, 1963, 1976, and 1989.

Water, Sewer and Drain

Why is my front lawn sprayed with blue and green paint?
Blue paint indicates the location of buried water lines. Green paint indicates the location of buried sewer lines. These utilities are sprayed with paint so contractors can either locate or avoid the utilities.

Why is my water dirty?
There could be many reasons for dirty water, but the three most common reasons are the annual water main flushing's, water main breaks, or a fire. This is usually temporary condition caused by a sudden increase in water flow from the water main. If you experience dirty water for more than a day, you should contact the Water Division at 413-499-9339.

Why is the water shut off and how long will it be off?
There are several reasons for shutting the water off. The most common reason is for repairing break in the water main. The Water Division strives to minimize any inconvenience to residents.

When will my hydrant be flushed?
During the summer months the Water Division flushes almost all City owned fire hydrants. We do weekly press releases notifying the residents who will be affected and when the work will be performed. We plan to post this information on the Cityís web site. Click below for: Center for Ecological Technology, 112 Elm Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201. www.cetonline.org/index.php


 
 

 
 
 
 
 


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