Around the Hamptons: State cultural council awards $15K to Easthampton’s Cottage Street Cultural District; DPW to hold rate-setting workshop in Easthampton

By EMILY THURLOW

Staff Writer

Published: 01-11-2023 5:28 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The Cottage Street Cultural District was awarded a $15,000 investment grant through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, one of 50 state-designated cultural districts statewide to receive a total of $750,000 in grants. 

“A decade ago, our partners in the Legislature asked the Mass Cultural Council to develop and administer this initiative to spur cultural and economic activities in cities and towns of all sizes and in all regions of the commonwealth,” Michael J. Bobbitt, executive director of the MCC, said in a statement. “We are immensely proud of this powerful network that works every day to uplift the diversity of creativity and culture living and working in Massachusetts, and the exciting programming the districts provide their host communities.”

Last year, the council awarded grants of $7,500 to each district. Bobbitt said that this year’s grants were doubled because of an increase in the state’s fiscal 2023 budget appropriation. 

As part of the grant’s requirements, funding will be used to support activities and goals that encourage the district’s development and success, such as marketing and promotion, artist or vendor fees, the development or implementation of creative community placemaking, placekeeping, or public art, collaborative cultural policy or strategic planning processes, or community-engaged and informed data collection and/or reporting.

Public works holds rate-setting workshop

The Easthampton Department of Public Works is holding a second public workshop regarding proposed changes to the city’s water and sewer utility rates on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 50 Payson Ave.

The workshop will feature a presentation on the composition of the city's water and sewer utility systems as well as information on projected rate increases that will be necessary to operate the city’s utilities and perform capital investments over the next several years.

The first information session was held on Nov. 30. Both workshops are being held in an effort to engage the community in the Board of Public Works’ rate-setting process, according to Department of Public Works Director Greg Nuttelman.

“We want the public to be involved in the discussion before the rates are finalized,” Nuttelman said in a previous interview.

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The board voted in June 2020 to raise water and sewer bills for the average city resident by 8%. Using 1,800 cubic feet per year as an approximate, the average Easthampton customer saw a $12.05 increase per quarterly bill.

For questions, comments, or concerns contact the Department of Public Works at 413-529-1400 or publicworks@easthamptonma.gov.

State officials hold office hours

State Sen. Paul Mark, D-Becket, and state Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, D-Northampton, will be at the Westhampton Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon. Constituents are encouraged to drop by with questions, concerns, and thoughts about the 1st Hampshire District.

Easthampton social worker hosts Senior Support Group

Community social worker Elizabeth Plouffe is hosting a Senior Support Group on the second Wednesday of each month at the Easthampton Senior Center, located at 19 Union St., from 2 to 3 p.m.

The group discussion will focus on bereavement. The group will meet on Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 8, April 12 and May 10. 

For those with questions, contact Plouffe at 413-529-1400, ext. 106 or email eplouffe@easthamptonma.gov.

Plouffe is also hosting drop-in office hours for those with questions about city services, mental health resources and elder care support at the Emily Williston Memorial Library on Monday, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and Thursday, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.]]>