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Cheshire Has Started Fire Station Roof Repairs

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town has received permission from the state to go forward with emergency repairs to the fire station roof and work has begun.
 
"Roof repairs on the fire station roof has started," Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said Tuesday.
 
A portion of the Fire Department roof had collapsed during the summer prompting the town to seek an $85,000 reserve fund transfer to make the emergency repairs and rebuild the section of the roof. A special town meeting granted this transfer earlier this month.
 
Town Administrator Mark Webber said the town has been given an emergency waiver from the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to make these repairs without having to go through the public bidding process. The town needs to make these repairs before winter.
 
"So we are good to go with all bases covered so when inquisitive minds do ask why we didn't go out for a formal bid, the answer is we didn't have to," Webber said.
 
The Selectmen also met with Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Planner William Sikula to discuss the town's Housing Rehabilitation Grant.
 
He said although they cannot officially act on applications, people can start the application process.
 
"We are accepting applications already, we just can't act yet," Sikula said. "We have the applications so just refer them to us we can give them one."
 
In Highway Superintendent Blair Crane's report, he said he has been facing issues with the Cheshire Elementary School heating system.
 
He said the heat was turned down last year to a minimal level and now that there are tenants in the building, he needs to bring it back up to a comfortable temperature. However, the thermostat seems to not be communicating well with the boiler.
 
"The thermostats aren't calling for heat very well and the rooms that are farther away from the boiler system have the tendency to cool off first," he said. "Since the system is linked together, I have had to go over and bypass the thermostatic system and turn the boilers on."
 
He said he will continue to monitor it but it takes up his time.
 
"It has been a time-consuming effort over the past week but needless to say they are all happy," he said. "I just need to babysit it two or three times a day for a considerable amount of time."

Tags: fire station,   municipal buildings,   

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Cheshire to Stay With Single Tax Rate For Coming Year

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen voted on Tuesday to keep a single tax rate for the town, opting not to differentiate between commercial and residential properties. This decision  is consistent with historic town practices.
 
Barbara Astorino, chairman of the Board of Assessors, addressed the board at the tax classification hearing. Although no specific tax rate was made available to the public, the board decided to go with a single tax rate as it has always done.
 
"Cheshire has historically always maintained a [single] tax rate," Astorino said. 
 
She was asked by the board how urgent this matter was and what consequences might arise should they take more time to study the numbers.
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