(Northampton, MA) – Fees for the Northampton Business Improvement District are about to drop by 50 percent. The Northampton City Council last night took a second and final vote to reduce the B.I.D. fees by half after City Attorney Jack Fitzgibbon assured the council that the vote would not be impacted by an upcoming lawsuit challenging the establishment of that organization. B.I.D opponents last month urged the council to delay any vote on the fee changes until the completion of two separate lawsuits, one of which challenges the state law allowing the establishment of such districts.
A look at some of this week's biggest headlines and the newsmakers you may have missed.
A traffic configuration change is coming to a busy Northampton intersection by 2018, according to state officials. A series of proposed upgrades to Route 9 calls for construction of a roundabout intersection at the Northampton side to the Coolidge Bridge.
Lengthening of the school day is part of a plan proposed by state officials in their three-year "turnaround" plan for Holyoke's schools, elements of which will be phased in beginning as early as next school year.
At a town council subcommittee informational forum on the issue earlier this week, one councilor suggested that the town should consider an ordinance imposing minimum air quality standards on home wood burning devices.
At last night's Council meeting, the owner of Packard's directly addressed City Council President Bill Dwight and Ward 3 Councilor Ryan O'Donnell condemning their choice to march with hotel workers to deliver a message of an intent to unionize, to Hotel Northampton owner Mansour Ghalibaf.