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The masonry trough was damaged some 60 years ago.
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Flowers are regularly planted in the former horse trough.

Cheshire to Fix Historic Fountain

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The plaque on the trough.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — There is more to the stone memorial in front of Town Hall than meets the eye.
 
What now holds flowers during the summer once used to provide water to horses, people and even dogs. The town hopes to restore to at least its original condition. 
 
"It is a memorial for yeoman and it has the horse trough in the front and a fountain for a person and a dog on the other side," Town Clerk Christine Emerson said last week.
 
Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said the Historical Society approached the selectmen at a meeting earlier this month and asked if they would fund the repair of the monument that is on the historic registry.
 
Francesconi had a letter from Brazeau Masonry outlining the repair: she read first that the stone needs to be reset because it is off 1.5 inches.
 
Once re-centered it will be power washed, the cracks will be filled and likely pulverized stone will be used to achieve a similar color and texture.
 
The repair is estimated to cost $2,200.
 
"I think we need to go for it. We have been talking about fixing that horse trough forever and it should be fixed," Francesconi said. "The horses are lined up and waiting."
 
Brazeau Masonry also thought there may be a time capsule underneath the fountain and if there isn’t, suggested the town should place one.
 
Francesconi said there is a water line underneath the stone but was unsure if they would be able to get the fountains back in working order.
 
The fountain was damaged in the 1950s during Cabbage Stalk Night, the night before Halloween that was once marked by vandalism and pranks.
 
"Halloween kids dumped tires in the center of it and set it on fire," she said. "That is what happened to it."
 
The rest of the board agreed the town should expend the money to repair a piece of town history.
 
"You would expect this from a town that has a memorial to cheese press," Selectman Robert Ciskowski said. "We are going to restore it because it is important."

Tags: historic structure,   

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Cheshire Still Seeking Right Fiscal Equation For Elementary School

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

The Selectmen have hoped to use the former school as a revenue generator. 
CHESHIRE, Mass. — When the Cheshire Elementary School was closed two years ago, the only silver lining to be found was the potential revenue source it might provide to the town through leasing the space privately. 
 
The Board of Selectmen are still working hard to figure out a formula that works.
 
Tuesday night's meeting was a good example as the board weighed the cost of temporary heating upgrades for the cafeteria versus rent the town receives from tenants. The upgrades would essentially serve one tenant that holds fitness classes in the west wing of the building. The school currently has three lessees: Youth Center Inc., the school district administration, and Berkshire Body.
 
"Electric heaters look to be the safest and most cost effective means to provide heating for the space," said Town Administrator Edmund St. John III. "We estimate the cost of the installation will be somewhere around $3,500." 
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