Pittsfield subcommittee backs three ordinance changes / iBerkshires.com

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Orders and Rules Subcommittee unanimously approved three order changes in just 40 minutes Monday.

These include a change in taxi fares, a change in the age of eligibility for property tax exemption from 68 to 65, and a request to develop an ordinance establishing a process for memorializing and honorific of the streets.

The demand for taxi fares increased them by $1 and 10 cents for every additional 1/8 mile. This changes the city ordinance that caps the rate at $2.50 and 30 cents for each additional 1/8 mile thereafter to $3.50 and 40 cents.

No rate changes have been made since 2005.

Late last year, Rainbow Taxi wanted to apply for a raise, but had missed the December 1 deadline. The Taxi Commission was reconstituted to set the order to have a different timetable or make an exception to change it and had its first appointment in May.

The rate change was approved by the commission last month.

“The taxi company came to town in November to raise their fare which had not been raised since 2005,” said chairman James Clark.

“Unfortunately, the taxi commission did not exist in December, it took until March to assign people to it and it took until May to have our first meeting.

He also added that the change did not affect the fares set for the rides.

Ward 4 Councilor James Conant presented the petition to change the age of eligibility for the property tax exemption from 68 to 65. He said it was an opportunity to protect the city’s most vulnerable taxpayers.

Clark, who is also the director of the Council on Aging, came out in favor of Conant’s request and asked to go further to apply it to adjournments as well. This will be resumed later.

“A deferral allows seniors to use resources that would be used to pay cash for other important living expenses such as health costs, fuel, whatever they need to spend on a day-to-day basis,” he said. he explains.

“It’s a safe and easy way to free up some of their income, which as we know is a fixed income for most seniors.”

He added that a property tax deferral does not eliminate tax liability.

“We have to think about our elders, as (Conant) said, that’s a very vulnerable part of the population,” Clark said, adding that the city doesn’t need people kicked out of their homes. because they have to choose between taxes and medical care.

Ward 1 Councilor Kenneth Warren wanted Clark’s recommendation dealt with as soon as possible and said it was a straightforward procedure.

“I might take a look at it and talk about it tomorrow because I don’t think there’s much reason to delay it,” he said in reference to Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Ward 6 Councilor Dina Guiel Lampiasi submitted the petition to craft an ordinance establishing a process for commemorative and honorary naming of streets.

She included a draft ordinance stating that honorary names would allow the city to commemorate people who have made significant contributions to the community and humanity and would not replace official street names or require re-addressing. streets.

It was accepted with some “friendly amendments”.

Utilities and Utilities Commissioner Ricardo Morales said traffic signs typically cost between $100 and $150 and the cost of the signs would be negligible unless the intent of the ordinance was to flood the streets with honorary signs.

The draft ordinance also states that requests for honorary dedications must be submitted in writing to the City Clerk for review by the Department of Community Development, with a $50 application fee, except when sponsored by a member of council. municipal.

Key words: ordinance and rules,

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