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The Selectmen were disappointed to learn a garage at the Bushika gravel pit offered for free is instead being sold to someone else.

Cheshire Losing Out on Free Garage

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town may not be getting the garage at the former Bushika gravel pit on Route 8.

Town Administrator Mark Webber told the Selectmen on Tuesday that solar array developer Kirt Mayland may sell the garage on the property to a local buyer instead of giving it to the town.

"He said he hasn't heard from us and a couple of weeks and assumed we were no longer interested," Webber said. "I was a little surprised he didn't let me know before he pulled the trigger because we have been talking about it, even though we haven't talked about it in a handful of weeks."

After entering a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the town for the array, Mayland offered to gift the building and land it sits on to the town. Officials hoped to use it for storage for the Department of Public Works.

One concern the town had was the condition of the garage roof. Selectman Robert Ciskowski was soliciting quotes on a roof repair.

Webber said Mayland told him that the garage may be beyond a reasonable repair.

"He emphasized that the building was in awful shape and that we would be better off not getting involved," Webber said. "He suggested we dodged a bullet."

Ciskowski said he would continue to look for repair quotes just in case the deal does not work out.

Chairwoman Carol Francesconi said she was disappointed that Mayland sold the garage after the Planning Board helped moved his project along.   

"He should be embarrassed. We bent over backwards for him," she said.

In other business, Webber said the proposed Kinder Morgan Tennessee Natural Gas Pipeline that may pass through Cheshire has filed with the state Department of Public Utilities to gain permission to gain access to land in order to survey and identify vernal pools.

Webber said there are 408 properties that he presumes denied Kinder Morgan access. Three of these are in Cheshire.

"I would be either the property owners have denied them access or they just haven't made a deal yet," he said. "I can only assume they have been denied access."

Webber also added that the Water Department is close to finishing paperwork and supplying information to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to officially close out the water-meter replacement project.

"It's nothing fatal," Webber said. "It has dragged on for a number of years and they want to clean it up and we are going to be able to clean it up."

He notified Department of Public Works Director Peter LeFebvre that the signs asking people to not feed the water fowl on Cheshire Lake are not working.

"I was having lunch at the causeway today and there was a woman who came out of her car and walked towards the water," Webber said. "She had to physically walk around your sign that says don't feed the water fowl with a bucket of grain."

LeFebvre said he is aware and acknowledged that people do not read the signs. He said some people feed the birds right in front of the sign.

Tags: fowl,   solar array,   town garage,   wild animals,   

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