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New Bedford Council Questions Storm Preparedness, Approves Zeiterion Funding

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As the Southcoast keeps an eye on the weekend forecast, the New Bedford City Council is still reeling from last weekend’s blizzard.

The Council is calling for a public hearing with officials from DPI, DPF, NStar, and other officials that took part in preparing the city for the two feet of snow that slammed the area.

Councilor at Large Brian Gomes is seeking answers from NStar concerning their knowledge of when power was to be restored, and their response times.

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Councilor at Large Denis Lawrence is concerned about another snowstorm and what it would mean in terms of cleanup efforts, since he was told by an anonymous official that the city is ill-prepared for another significant snowfall.

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The motion to hold the hearing was referred to the Council’s Committee on Appointments and Briefings.

On a seperate note, councilors have given the OK for the City to provide a portion of funding to the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, as the organization faces financial troubles.

The Council unanimously approved $60,000 dollars from a reserve account, in order to sustain the Zeiterion until the beginning of the next fiscal year on July 1.

Ward 1 Councilor Jim Oliveira says it’s the right move.

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Building maintenance costs have been blamed for the Z’s fiscal woes.

$150,000 was the original request to bail out the Zeiterion, but several banks and private donors have stepped up to the plate to cover the majority of the cost.

Plans for the City to receive RFP’s for a long term management contract of the Zeiterion are being put in place.

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