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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