CHICOPEE — Two transfers in the amount of $4.4 million and $3.1 million were taken from the city’s stabilization account for educational purposes and salary increases.

The City Council unanimously approved the transfers during its Jan. 16 meeting.

Ward 3 City Councilor Susan Goff said these are “well deserved salary increases.”

Ward 9 City Councilor Mary Beth Pniak-Costello described this as “historic” because the School Committee, under the direction of Mayor John Vieau, Chicopee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marcus Ware and Business Manager John Miarecki, have taken the initiative to make sure the teacher salaries are competitive with other districts, as well as other salaries pertaining to the schools.

“We’ve had problems getting people to work because our salaries weren’t competitive at one time, so I appreciate their work and I want to thank the school department employees for their hard work and their patience in regards to getting these increases,” Pniak-Costello said.

While it is historic, she noted that it is something that is needed.

City Councilor at-Large Timothy Wagner thanked the administrative team, labor attorney and School Committee members Don Lamothe and Grace Schofield for helping get these negotiated and on the desk of the city councilors.

Infrastructureimprovement funding

The City Council accepted the U.S. Federal Highway Administration fiscal year 2023 Safe Streets and Roads for All grant in the amount of $320,000. City Clerk Keith Rattell explained that this grant will be used to provide a foundational framework to address the rising incidences of traffic related fatalities, through the programmatic efficient planning and analysis involved in streetscape design.

“Through the development of an action plan, the city aims to use the resulting data as a lesson to further improve and support public safety and multi-modal travel throughout the city,” he shared.

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