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Request for Proposals For Cheshire School Released

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The request for proposals for the Cheshire Elementary school is complete and will be posted.
Town Administrator Mark Webber told the Selectmen on Tuesday that the RFP for the now-closed school will be posted and applications will be due May 1.
"It is completed," Webber said. "So there we go."
Since the school closed last year, the Selectmen have formed a committee to look at possible reuses for the building. After releasing a request for expressed interest, the town received applications from a dance school and an early childhood center.
The Selectmen believe both uses could exist at the same time in the building with the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District's central office that currently is in there.
Also in regard to the school, Webber said he originally programmed into the proposed fiscal 2019 a budget of $60,000 for the maintenance of the building but now thinks it may have to increase another $15,000 to cover additional insurance. 
Francesconi said this may have to increase more because there is more repair work that must be done in the building.
"We have things to fix," she said. 
Webber said he estimates this total amount may now be closer to $100,000.
"The $100,000 is not far off and it is what it is," he said. "You need some comfort in there."
In other business, Ben Girard, who wants to open a recreational marijuana dispensary at the former Country Charm Restaurant with his two brothers, also met with the board with a draft host community agreement.
He said the draft was written by the Girards' lawyers and includes the 3 percent excise tax to go to the town as well as the $5,000 quarterly payments the group had offered the town. 
He asked the Selectmen to review the document.
"Obviously review it and ... if it comes to the point where you are comfortable with it you can sign it," Girard said.
Girard added that they still plan to hold the required public meeting in May at the Cheshire Community Center.
"We are definitely progressing, and we are very motivated … and we hope we can make this happen with the town," Girard said.

Tags: cheshire school,   RFP,   

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Cheshire Selectmen Fill Highway Position Despite Speed Bumps

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

Highway Superintendent Bob Navin, right, addresses the board regarding possible new hire Corey Swistak, left.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen was taking no chances on a hiring decision Tuesday after Open Meeting complaint was filed over the process in bringing the new highway superintendent on board. 
The board engaged in an hour of discussion when resident Gary Trudeau raised the possibility that the members might have inadvertently violated the state law again when interviewing candidates for the operator position. 
Highway Superintendent Bob Navin interviewed the candidates along with Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV and the board's liaison to the Highway Department, Selectman Ron DeAngelis.
"I have nothing against this person but the laws were violated. The board didn't officially appoint a subcommittee to go through the job applications," Trudeau said after calling a point of order and asking them to stop the appointment. "I recommend you put [the hiring] on hold until you can start the process over and go through it with a committee."
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