CHESHIRE, Mass. — The developers of the proposed recreational marijuana dispensary at the former Country Charm have pulled out of the project.
The town received a letter from Ben Girard of Royal Property Group, owner of the 750 South State Road property, who wrote that the project has become financially unfeasible.
"After hearing back from them [engineers] about some unforeseen costs," Girard wrote. "Unfortunately, without access to public utilities, we are finding that it isn't feasible to proceed with the buildout."
Girard had met with the Selectmen earlier this year with his two brothers looking to schedule a community meeting to discuss their proposed facility. Girard also asked to work out a host community agreement with the town, however, this now won't be necessary.
Girard wrote that the main issue is the utilities and that the project would entail the installation of a new well and an alternative septic system and holding tank for the sprinkler system.
He would still be interested in going forward if the town was able to provide them some sort of grant funding.
The Selectmen agreed they were not going to grant Girard any money.
Girard wrote that they still plan to go forward with a retail marijuana facility and have pinpointed a new location, but outside of Cheshire.
But they still own the former restaurant property and would like to develop it
"I apologize that we are unable to make this happen now," he wrote. "We still own the property and we will continue to think about the best way to invest and utilize that property in the future."
In other business, the Selectmen opened up one bid document for the reuse of Cheshire Elementary School.
The single bid was from Dancecapade, a dance school currently based in Adams.
Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said she would bring the response before the School Reuse Committee so it can make a recommendation.
• Highway Superintendent Blair Crane said the town does not have the proper mower to maintain the school grounds.
He said the current mower, although a nice mower, discharges grass from the center instead of the side.
"It is not suitable for what we are doing at the school ... it's great for places like the side of the road but because it's a center discharge the grass can't be overly wet," he said. "It would have to be cut later in the day and it would clump, which is not good for athletic fields we would have to go back over it."
Crane said he approached the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District to inquire about the mower that was used before the school closed but he was told it was unavailable.
The town does have a backup mower that has been used at the cemetery that would do, however, he did not think it was in good enough condition to mow the school.
He said a new machine would probably set the town back $8,000, however, he thinks the town may be able to simply trade in the machine for another.
"I don't know what the answer is but if we can do it without spending any money that would be great," he said. "I will get the numbers for you."
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