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The Selectmen were disappointed to hear the town had lost out on the grant for a second time.

Cheshire Misses Out on Complete Streets Grant Again

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — For the second time, the town has not received Complete Streets funding.
 
Interim Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV gave the bad news to the Selectmen on Tuesday that the town was not chosen to receive funds to install a sidewalk on Wells Road and a footbridge.
 
"We did not get the most recent one," St. John said. "Try, try again."
 
This is the second Complete Streets project denied to the town. Previously, officials had looked to make improvements to Depot and RailRoad streets but the project did not score high enough in all categories required for the grant.
 
"They wag this carrot in front of you and say it's easy and they have all this money to spend," Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said. "This is the second time we have been shot down."
 
St. John said he does not yet know why the application failed but will find out.
 
The Complete Streets program rewards policies and projects that make byways safe and accessible for multiple modes of travel — pedestrian, bicycle, public transit and motor vehicles. Grants range from $50,000 to $400,000; the state has awarded $30 million in construction funding over the past three years.
 
In other business, St. John told the Selectmen that he has begun work on the fiscal 2020 budget and will have more to report at future meetings.
 
"I met with some members of the Finance Committee and I continued to put together some numbers," he said. 
 
He added that the town has received the certified free cash number and can expect $339,776.
 
Francesconi said she thought this was a little light especially if they use $170,000 to lower the tax rate as was done this fiscal year.
 
"Free cash is going to be a little tight this year," she said.
 
The Selectmen also received a draft Host Community Agreement from Stafford Green Inc. that wants to establish an outdoor marijuana cultivation facility on Stafford Hill.
 
"We would like to take some time to review it and next week will have our decision or changes," Francesconi said.
 
Stafford Green plans to hold a community outreach meeting in late January.

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Cheshire to Look Into Road Grader Options

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — After plans to buy a used road grader were decisively rebuffed at town meeting on Monday night, the Board of Selectmen says it will seek out a different avenue for a the road equipment.
 
Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV said at Tuesday's board meeting he will begin collecting more information on the grader town meeting denied on a vote of 73-21.
 
"People made it clear that they wanted more information on the grader and we will get that," Chairman Robert Ciskowski said. "It may take a while."
 
Town meeting rejected the proposal to borrow $95,000 to purchase a used grader to replace the town's old one that it can no longer get parts for. 
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