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Cheshire Considers Buying Street Lights for LED Switch

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town may look at switching out street lights with LED, or light-emitting diode, units.
Interim Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV told the Selectmen on Tuesday that he has applied for a LED street light grant and has contacted National Grid about the process.
"We are not committed to anything but it gets us in the pipeline," he said.
St. John said National Grid owns the town's street lights and that Cheshire would have to buy them back to make the switch.
Selectman Robert Ciskowski said the town could have National Grid continue to maintain the lights but this would leave virtually no savings. 
He said there would be more savings if the town maintained them. 
"That way the savings would be almost nil but if we take the leap and own them we are looking at tens of thousands of dollars in savings," Ciskowski said. "A lot of towns are going that route."
He added that Cheshire would likely have to contract with a vendor to service the lights but the savings should easily pay for this.
In other business, St. John said he is still collecting department requests forms to inform the budget.
"Today was the due date, which is fine, we just wanted to get the process going," St. John said. "We are getting the requests to see what they want then we will meet and work backward from that."
Highway Superintendent Blair Crane said most of the week was spent plowing and maintaining the roads.
"It has been a weather week," Crane said. "It has been feast or famine and we have either been dealing with snow and zero-degree temperatures or it's mud. So, we will continue to deal with it as it happens."
He said the salt shed has been depleted to 30 percent and a new order has been put in. He did add that other communities have also ordered and Cheshire is on the list.

Tags: energy efficiency,   National Grid,   street lights,   

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Cheshire Looks For Options For Road, Building Repairs

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

The Cheshire Selectmen discuss the long-term infrastructure challenges that the town is facing. 
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Entering into a budget season that seems to start earlier and earlier lately, the Board of Selectmen is taking a hard look at the town's infrastructure. The majority of Tuesday night's meeting was spent discussing potential options for maintaining and improving the town's buildings and roads.
Selectwoman Michelle Francesconi raised the issue of the fire station, which recently had its roof repaired but is now experiencing some heating issues.
"The Fire Department heating system ... is actually the boiler from the State Police barracks when it was on Dalton Avenue. So it's not new obviously. I don't even remember the State Police barracks on Dalton Avenue," she said.
The board estimated the boiler to be at least 30-35 years old. Chairman Robert Ciskowski puts it at closer to 40.
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