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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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Explorers Guide to the Berkshires: 'Berkshire Destinations'

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Raven Rock in Adams is a remote and challenging destination to reach.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Local authors Jan and Christy Butler penned "Berkshire Destinations," an explorers guide to waterfalls, boulders, vistas and points of interest of the Berkshire Hills and Western Massachusetts.
"Berkshire Destinations" is the Butlers' fourth book and the "unconventional explorer's guide" includes 159 chapters that will guide readers to known and obscure waterfalls, glacial erratics, vistas, gardens, cultural institutions, and historical landmarks found in the Western Massachusetts foothills.
"Having a hiking guide to vistas, boulders and waterfalls is all well and good, so long as the weather is cooperating," Christy said. "So diversifying does provide a change of pace for rainy days or after completion some alternatives for those who want a change of pace."
Christy said he first planned to write a book only about New England statues but after receiving some feedback from friends and readers, he decided to keep his focus in Berkshire County and Western Massachusetts.
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