Berkshire Hills, Legacy Announce Merger
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. and Legacy Bancorp Inc. recently announced a definitive merger agreement under which Berkshire will acquire Legacy and its subsidiary, Legacy Banks, in a transaction valued at approximately $108 million. The merger of Legacy into Berkshire will create a combined institution with $4 billion in assets. This in-market merger will create efficiencies and market-share benefits for the combined banks, which both have branches in Western Mass. and Northeastern New York. Including Berkshire’s pending merger with Rome Bancorp, the combined bank will have more than 60 offices serving Berkshire County, the Pioneer Valley, New York, and Southern Vermont. Legacy has nearly $1 billion in assets and 19 branches, while Berkshire has nearly $3 billion in assets and will have 47 branches, including the Rome branches. Both banks are headquartered in Pittsfield and have histories stretching back more than 150 years serving the Berkshire County market. Michael P. Daly, Berkshire’s president and chief executive officer, noted in a statement, “this in-market combination will create a strong platform headquartered in Berkshire County for further growth of our Northeast regional franchise.”
Tighe & Bond Approved for Fisheries & Wildlife Projects
WESTFIELD — The Mass. Division of Fisheries & Wildlife recently prequalified Tighe & Bond to perform biological surveys, research, and testing at varied sites throughout the state. This approval allows the firm to participate in Fisheries & Wildlife bid opportunities in eight service categories that include: wetland delineation and soil surveys; engineering services; GIS and database projects; road and trail assessment and mapping; property boundary location and marking; natural community, restoration, natural-resource mapping, and management planning; plants and fungi; and reptiles and amphibians. The Division of Fisheries & Wildlife is part of the Mass. Department of Fish and Game, which awarded Tighe & Bond a master service agreement earlier in 2010 for ecological and river restoration through its Division of Ecological Restoration. Tighe & Bond was also recently prequalified for another two years to provide similar services to the Mass. Department of Transportation.
Bay Path Receives InternHero Award
LONGMEADOW — Annually, the Hartford-Springfield Economic Partnership (HSEP) recognizes students and colleges that promote HSEP’s InternHere.com program. This year, HSEP selected Bay Path College as the recipient of the 2010 College InternHero Award for its special support of InternHere and the large number of undergraduates who have benefited from the program. An initiative of HSEP, InternHere assists college students in finding internships. The Web site features more than 1,000 regional businesses and organizations that post internship opportunities. Students can search for internships and apply to opportunities online. Bay Path was recognized at HSEP’s 2010 State of the Region Conference on Dec. 9.
Berkshire Wind Completes $64.7M Financing
BOSTON — The Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative Corp. (BWPCC) recently issued $64,705,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds to complete the financing for its Berkshire Wind Power Project, the largest wind project to date in Massachusetts. The 10-turbine, 15-megawatt project, located on Brodie Mountain in Hancock, is scheduled to begin operation in mid-February. All 10 turbines are fully erected, and remaining construction work involves completing electrical connections needed to deliver project electricity to the power grid. Proceeds from the 20-year bond issue will be used primarily to repay a $52.5 million, short-term loan taken by BWPCC to finance turbine purchases and preliminary construction activities. The bond issue, rated A by Fitch Ratings and A-minus by Standard & Poors, also will fund additional construction expenses, a debt-service reserve fund, and underwriting costs. The BWPCC is comprised of 14 state municipal utilities and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. (MMWEC), all nonprofit, public-power entities. Through contracts with BWPCC and MMWEC, the municipal utilities will receive their respective shares of project output and be responsible for their proportionate share of debt service on the bonds. Once it is operational, the project will nearly double the state’s current 18.5 megawatts in windpower resources, which include more than 20 comparatively small projects ranging in size from 100 kilowatts to the 3-megawatt project operated by the Princeton Municipal Light Department, according to the state Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs Web site. Wind speeds atop Brodie Mountain, one of the best inland wind sites in Massachusetts, average about 8 meters per second, making it a Class 6 wind resource on an American Wind Energy Assoc. scale of 1 to 7. The BWPCC project is expected to operate at a capacity factor of approximately 40% and produce more than 52,500 megawatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power approximately 6,000 homes.
Adam Quenneville Receives National Recognition
SOUTH HADLEY — Adam Quenneville Roofing, Siding & Windows has received national recognition in Compass magazine. The magazine delivers monthly columns from the foremost industry experts in the fields of training, marketing, motivation, and more. In addition, Compass highlights the most accomplished contractors in the country and, in the latest issue, featured the local firm as the cover story. Labeled as an “innovator” and “revolutionary roofer,” Quenneville was also recognized for being a green company. Quenneville noted in a statement that “we’ve recycled over 2 million pounds of roofing shingles. One of the company’s goals is to save the planet one roof at a time.” The firm is located at 160 Old Lyman Road.