Water Superintendent Travis Delratez says Cheshire will move on to the national water competition.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Cheshire water took home the gold in the 12th annual Rural Water Association Water Taste Test.
Water Department Superintendent Travis Delratez presented the Selectmen on Tuesday with an award the Water Department won in a statewide water tasting competition Sept. 13.
"They have a big competition throughout the state," he said. "I am not sure exactly how many people were involved but we won best tasting water in the whole state."
Delratez said Cheshire water was narrowed down from 40 different samples from different communities and seven judges tasted the water and gave a rating.
He said because of its outstanding water, the town will compete at the National Rural Water Association's Rural Water Rally this February in Washington, D.C.
According to the association, the water is tested on clarity, bouquet and taste; a preliminary round selects five finalists to compete in the Great American Water Taste Test. Last year's winner was Aspen Pines, Wyo., and Easthampton won two years ago.
"I will physically bring the water down, all expenses paid," Delratez said. "It is a big to-do thing so if anyone says anything bad about Cheshire water, we have this to show them ... this is a big thing for us."
The Selectmen were surprised by the award and Chairman Robert Ciskowski said it shows how hard the Water Department works to ensure clean water for the water users.
"I think this is fantastic," he said. "Job well done."
Police Chief Tim Garner added that this is the second time Cheshire will make its mark in Washington.
"First the cheese to Washington now the water is going," he said, referring to the Mammoth Cheese sent 200 years ago to President Jefferson.
Delratez said many of the communities that win these competitions are eyed by brewers as potential homes for breweries.
"The couple people that won this in the past wound up with a brewery in their town because their water tasted so good. This could open up a lot of doors for Cheshire," he joked.
In other business, Highway Superintendent Blair Crane said the department will continue to crack seal the roads throughout the week.
"We have been sealing since Friday morning and are three days in," he said. "We are going to start again tomorrow morning and head towards the center of town…for the most part it is going well."
Crane said residents should be aware that over the next three days there will be congestion downtown with sealing being done on Church Street and Main Street.
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Cheshire Highway Foreman Advocates for New Grader
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
CHESHIRE, Mass. — New Highway Superintendent Bob Navin wants the town to take better care of its dirt roads.
He has asked the board to propose at town meeting buying a grader as opposed to continuing to rent one as they currently do. He has other ideas as well.
"The procedures here weren't to do them how I would do a dirt road," Navin said. "They don't rake them all the time because they didn't have a rake that worked all that great. After grading it needs to be raked out well ... compacted by a roller ... putting a dust control agent on it. That's the direction I want to head in with our gravel roads. A road done right will last a lot longer."
As for the grader purchase, that will be taken up by the town at next Tuesday's special town meeting. Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV prepared numbers for the board that weren't shared publicly but most members agreed that buying might be the best option.
The town will only be performing the Crest Drive work for now and DeAngelis said Geeleher won't necessarily do the other two roads. Work will include an upgrade to 8-inch ductile iron pipe, hydrant and valve replacement, pipe replacement across Route 8, and other associated road work.
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