Regarding construction projects in the City of Pittsfield during the current state of emergency, please be advised that the city is adhering to Gov. Baker’s Essential Services Order which provides guidance on projects that are deemed essential throughout the Commonwealth.
The March 23rd order designates selected construction projects as COVID-19 Essential Services and identifies workers engaged in such construction projects as included within the order’s COVID-19 Essential Workforce.
The guidance on construction related activity identified in Exhibit A of the order is as follows:
- Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, inspectors and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals, health care facilities, senior living facilities, and any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response.
- Workers – including contracted vendors - who support the operation, inspection, maintenance and repair of essential public works facilities and operations, including roads and bridges, water and sewer, laboratories, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, and maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations.
- Critical or strategic infrastructure includes public works construction including construction of public schools, colleges and universities and construction of state facilities, including leased space, managed by the Division of Capital Asset Management; airport operations; water and sewer; gas, electrical, nuclear, oil refining and other critical energy services; roads and highways; public transportation; steam; solid waste and recycling collection and removal; and internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services).
- Workers who support infrastructure, such as by road and line clearing and utility relocation, to ensure the availability of and access to needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications.
- Workers performing housing construction related activities, including construction of mixed-use projects that include housing, to ensure additional units can be made available to combat the Commonwealth’s existing housing supply shortage.
- Workers supporting the construction of housing, including those supporting government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting and plan review services that can be modified to protect the public health, including allowing qualified private third-party inspections accountable to government agencies).
For projects that are classified under this approved continuation, the order states that they should proceed with established social distancing protocols consistent with guidance provided by the state’s Department of Public Health: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-guidelines-and-procedures-for-all-construction-sites-and-workers-at-all-public-work.
Please note that permits issued for non-essential projects prior to the governor’s order should be safely discontinued until the emergency is ended, said the city’s Building Commissioner Jeffrey Clemons. Permits are not considered abandoned until after 180 days from work stoppage and permit extension requests will be accepted for review if needed.
Clemons said the city will continue to review permit applications and issue permits for non-essential projects so that when these restrictions are lifted work may commence without further delay.
For more information, please contact the Office of the Building Commissioner at 413-499-9441 during the hours of 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The modified hours of operation are in place at city municipal offices and buildings through May 4.
To read the order, visit here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-23-2020-essential-services-and-revised-gatherings-order/download . For a complete list of COVID-19 essential services, please visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services
To stay connected to city updates, a COVID-19 link is available on the home page of the city’s website, www.cityofpittsfield.org, and will feature continuous updates from the city. The public is also encouraged to use the subscription service to receive a notification when a new update from the city is available and sign up for CodeRED.
Residents across the state can now sign up to receive updates, news and prevention information related to COVID-19 by texting COVIDMA to 888-777.
For more information, please contact Roberta McCulloch-Dews, Director of Administrative Services, Office of the Mayor, 413-499-9322.