Chicopee

WAMC

In its first summer in operation, a western Massachusetts city’s bookmobile has been a big success. Library advocates hope the service offered in Chicopee will inspire other communities to put libraries on wheels.

The Chicopee Public Library Bookmobile, which began a biweekly schedule in late June of two 90- minute stops per day that will end the Friday before Labor Day, is on course to exceed 2,000 customers who checked out close to 1,300 items.

Mayor Richard Kos, who championed the creation of a bookmobile, said it was a “home run.”

WAMC

Massachusetts is expanding an initiative to reduce energy use in urban neighborhoods by planting trees.  In western Massachusetts, the city of Chicopee is now a beneficiary of the program.

The “Greening the Gateway Cities Program” has a goal of increasing the urban tree canopy by 10 percent in selected neighborhoods in cities where age and a history of manufacturing has contributed to a loss of trees through the years.

WAMC

A program to repair structurally deficient bridges in Massachusetts is about to run out of money.  Legislators point to the renovation of the Willimansett Bridge in western Massachusetts as one of the program’s success stories.

Horns blared and people cheered as the steel truss bridge spanning the Connecticut River between Holyoke and Chicopee reopened to traffic Thursday afternoon following a four- year renovation.

The traffic was music to the ears of Fiore Santaniello, owner of Capri Pizza located just a few blocks down Cabot Street off the Holyoke side of the bridge.

wikipedia.org

A bridge that connects Chicopee and Holyoke that's been closed for nearly four years is scheduled to reopen in June, delighting businesses and political leaders in both cities.

A western Massachusetts city is taking a unique step – actually, steps -- to encourage a healthier municipal workforce.  Healthcare officials hope what the city of Chicopee is doing will spread to other cities and towns.  

Beginning next month employees of the city of Chicopee can earn a $25 a month cash bonus by just walking an average of 7,000 steps a day, five days a week.  Mayor Richard Kos said he hopes in the long run the wellness incentive program will help reduce employee absences and lower the city’s health insurance premiums.

WAMC

A city in western Massachusetts is launching a unique program to encourage landlords to live in the multi-family homes they purchase.

 The buyer of a three-family home in one of three designated neighborhoods in the city of Chicopee could receive $16,000 from the city towards the down payment.  The catch?  They must agree to live in one of the apartments of that house.

WAMC

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its largest cities have for several years now featured so-called “open checkbooks” on their websites.  Some smaller cities are now joining the movement to make public information about how taxpayer money is spent just a few mouse clicks away

WAMC

Just 44 days into his term, the new mayor of Chicopee, Massachusetts offered a somber assessment today in a State of the City address delivered to a business group.

   Mayor Richard Kos said he would pursue an agenda to improve education and to create jobs, but warned Chicopee is facing challenges including a threat to future economic development because of skyrocketing expenses on a major public construction project.

The city of Chicopee, Massachusetts will get a new, yet familiar, mayor on Monday when an inauguration ceremony is held for Richard Kos.  Kos, who served as mayor of Chicopee a decade ago, will be sworn in to a two-year term. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Kos about his priorities.

WAMC

A long shot bid by the city of Chicopee to get into the casino competition in Massachusetts has failed. But, the city’s mayor says Chicopee does not need casino money to survive

Two developers that had looked into the possibility of a casino project in Chicopee informed Massachusetts gaming industry regulators Tuesday they will compete instead for a license to operate a slots parlor.  Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette had spoken with officials from both Rush Street Gaming and the Cordish Companies about converting a former mill in Chicopee Center into a casino.

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