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Cheshire To Use Housing Rehab Program

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Selectmen agreed to join a housing rehab program for residents through the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.
Town Administrator Mark Webber told the board Tuesday that BRPC recently reached out to him to see if the town was interested in utilizing a state Department of Housing and Community Development program that allows residents to apply for grants that permit them to make improvements to their homes.
"We should do anything we can to help some of these houses," Chairman Paul Astorino said. "It's worth a shot if it can help some people."
Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said the town has utilized the program in the past and many benefited from it.
"We were successful last time we did it," she said. "People in town did benefit from it. They did get low-interest loans and I think it's worthwhile … people got grants for windows, roofs and stuff like that."
She said even the town benefits from the program and if homes sell that utilized the program, the town received money.
Webber did add that abandoned houses do not apply.
In other business, Webber said the town received a letter from the Division of Ecological Restoration that permitted provisional project approval for the removal of the Kitchen Brook Dam as a secondary reservoir so they can possibly sell it to the state.
"It doesn't mean we have funding but DER will work with the town for the next year to put together partners and funding options," Webber said. "We have to put together some money."
The Selectmen also heard from resident Chris Delmolino who requested that a sidewalk be installed on Main Street from Dublin Road to the bridge.
"It's dangerous … it's about a quarter mile give or take," he said. "To get by that part you have to get on the road."
Department of Public Works Director Peter LeFebvre sad the town would have to conduct a road survey to see if there is room. He added that there are wetland issues as well
Francesconi said it may be something the town can look for a grant for in the future.

Tags: housing,   state grant,   

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