The Berkshire Plastics Network, a regional industry association in western Massachusetts, is in danger of shutting down much of its activity after a key source of funding turned the group down.
BPN, based in Pittsfield, Mass., had requested money from an economic development fund in Pittsfield, but the City Council narrowly defeated the request in late June.
Because of council rules, the measure needed eight of the 11 members of the council to support it, but could muster only seven supporters. One council member abstained because he sits on the board of a BPN company, leaving a bloc of three council members opposed to the request.
BPN Chairman Carl Olson said the network had requested $33,000 to start an injection molding operator-training program. Selling the program may have provided a ``modest'' source of funds for the network, he said.
The city money would have come from a special economic development fund set up by General Electric Corp. as part of a settlement to clean up PCB pollution from GE's local operations. Local press reports said GE agreed to provide the city $1 million a year for 10 years.
BPN runs an apprentice mold-making training program, which is self-sustaining, but its networking and industry building activities are in jeopardy, Olson said. Its full-time staff person now works four days a week, he said.
``We'll be out of funds by this fall,'' Olson said. ``Unless we get some new sources of revenue, we won't have much of an office.''