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Cheshire to Use Regional Veterans Agent

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — Starting in March, the town will share a veterans agent with eight other neighboring communities.

The Selectmen signed documents Tuesday to enter into a regional agreement that would cost the town $1,500 annually.

"I am glad we came out of this as well as we did," Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said. "That’s a bargain."

Some months ago, the town's current agent announced that she no longer could hold the post. This triggered conversations with North Adams that lead to an agreement with Adams, Cheshire, North Adams, Dalton, Clarksburg, Savoy, Florida, Williamstown and Lanesborough.

Veterans Agent Stephen Roy was hired by North Adams in 2010 with the intent to also serve Clarksburg and Williamstown. Over the years, more towns have joined in the regional agreement.

Town Administrator Mark Webber said the agent will hold office hours in Adams, Dalton and North Adams.

"We will at least get the same amount of service if not more," he said.

Webber said the current agent has agreed to stay on until the contract's effective date of March 1

In other business, Highway Superintendent Blair Crane said even though some of the equipment needs repairs, plow trucks are up and running.

"About everything has broken in the last week in one way or another," he said. "We have been able to minimize what is breaking and it get it fixed for the next event."

Crane did ask at some point he would like to compile a list of people who can help plow during storms if the department isn’t fully staffed.

"Just with these big storms it would be nice to have a list of folks who can plow," he said. "They don’t have to be good I just need someone I can sit in a little truck with a little plow and plow around town."

Francesconi said the town has done this in the past.

Crane said he did have concerns about insurance and liability, but Webber said if they are working for the town they would be covered under the town's insurance. 

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