Massachusetts Lt. Governor Timothy Murray toured Western Massachusetts yesterday, stopping in Springfield and Pittsfield to highlight the creative economy. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…
On his tour of Western Massachusetts, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray visited Indian Orchard Mills, a multi-use, recently renovated industrial building in Springfield, as well as a stop at Interprint, an artistically focused paper company in Pittsfield. The visits are part of the state’s CreativeNEXT tour which highlights businesses and organizations that are breathing new life into old cities, in part through state government partnerships and funding.
The Lieutenant Governor also made a stop in downtown Pittsfield to mark the completion of the Downtown Streetscape renovation project. At the event he commemorated Pittsfield’s efforts in advancing the creative economy.
The Downtown Streetscape Project is the second phase of the city’s Streetscape Master Plan. The first two phases, which included repaving North Street, new sidewalks, lighting, and bike lanes, were funded by 1.2 million dollars from the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, over $3 Million in Federal Highway Funding secured by Congressman John Olver, and a $100,000 commitment from Pittsfield.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi highlighted the need for more steps to be taken to help continue improving Pittsfield.
Steven Valenti, owner of a men’s clothing store on North Street in downtown Pittsfield says that the improvements made by the Streetscape Project have already proved beneficial to his business.
Pittsfield Police Chief Mike Wynn also noted that the improvements are important for reducing crime in the city’s downtown.
Lieutenant Governor Murray later noted the improvement he’s seen in the Massachusetts Gateway Cities, including Pittsfield.