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Cheshire Annual Town Meeting Monday Night

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The annual town meeting will vote on 14 articles Monday night.
 
Town meeting will be held at Cheshire School beginning at 7 p.m.
 
The first few articles town meeting will take action on are annual procedural articles.
 
Article 2 is the budget article and approval will set a the fiscal 2020 spending plan of $6.2 million.
 
Article 3 is also a budget article and asks town meeting to allocate $140,000 from free cash to offset the tax rate.
 
Article 4 will allow the town to borrow additional funds for roads and bridges to be reimbursed with Chapter 90 funds.
 
Article 5 will see if town meeting will spend $17,800 from free cash for the Board of Assessors' recertification and Article 6 will pull $60,000 from the stabilization account to repair a portion of the heating system in the school building. Article 6 needs a two-thirds vote.
 
The next few articles represent zoning bylaw changes and Article 7 will ask town meeting to adopt amendments that will allow accessory agricultural uses to provide additional economic opportunities for farmers.
 
Article 8 will create a light industrial district in town.
 
Both Articles 7 and 8 require a two-thirds vote to pass.
 
Article 9 will see of the town will adopt the state's "stretch energy code" that will slightly alter the town's building codes toward energy efficiency. This must be adopted if the town wants to take advantage of the state's Green Communities program. Many surrounding communities have already adopted this code.
 
Article 10 is the amendments made to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District agreement. This includes changing the district's name to Hoosac Valley Regional School District.
 
Article 11 asks town meeting to allow the town to borrow $95,000 to purchase a used road grader and dispose of the old grader. This article also requires a two-thirds vote and a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion vote to be held at a later date.
 
Article 12 is a citizens petition article to enact a marijuana bylaw that would put restrictions on cultivation for the purpose of reducing the conditions that create "public nuisances." This article is in response to a proposed cultivation operation on Stafford Hill.
 
Article 13 will authorize the transfer of $10,280 from the Water Department surplus account to pay bills owed from this fiscal year.

Tags: town meeting 2019,   

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Cheshire Will Try to Accommodate Hiker Camping

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Town officials will apply for a special permit on behalf of Appalachian Trail hikers to accommodate camping on the Cheshire School grounds.
 
A proposal to place a camping site on the town-owned land came to a halt last week when it was found to be in violation of the town's zoning. 
 
After some research, Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV told the board of Selectmen on Tuesday that he may have found a way to establish a campsite for through-hikers on a portion of the grounds of the vacant school.
 
"I think last week was good to get all of that information out so we know what the issues are but just because there are issues does not mean that there is not a path we can move forward on," St. John said.
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