CHESHIRE, Mass. — The annual town meeting will vote on 14 articles Monday night.
Town meeting will be held at Cheshire School beginning at 7 p.m.
The first few articles town meeting will take action on are annual procedural articles.
Article 2 is the budget article and approval will set a the fiscal 2020 spending plan of $6.2 million.
Article 3 is also a budget article and asks town meeting to allocate $140,000 from free cash to offset the tax rate.
Article 4 will allow the town to borrow additional funds for roads and bridges to be reimbursed with Chapter 90 funds.
Article 5 will see if town meeting will spend $17,800 from free cash for the Board of Assessors' recertification and Article 6 will pull $60,000 from the stabilization account to repair a portion of the heating system in the school building. Article 6 needs a two-thirds vote.
The next few articles represent zoning bylaw changes and Article 7 will ask town meeting to adopt amendments that will allow accessory agricultural uses to provide additional economic opportunities for farmers.
Article 8 will create a light industrial district in town.
Both Articles 7 and 8 require a two-thirds vote to pass.
Article 9 will see of the town will adopt the state's "stretch energy code" that will slightly alter the town's building codes toward energy efficiency. This must be adopted if the town wants to take advantage of the state's Green Communities program. Many surrounding communities have already adopted this code.
Article 10 is the amendments made to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District agreement. This includes changing the district's name to Hoosac Valley Regional School District.
Article 11 asks town meeting to allow the town to borrow $95,000 to purchase a used road grader and dispose of the old grader. This article also requires a two-thirds vote and a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion vote to be held at a later date.
Article 12 is a citizens petition article to enact a marijuana bylaw that would put restrictions on cultivation for the purpose of reducing the conditions that create "public nuisances." This article is in response to a proposed cultivation operation on Stafford Hill.
Article 13 will authorize the transfer of $10,280 from the Water Department surplus account to pay bills owed from this fiscal year.
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Cheshire Town Meeting Approves $6.6M Budget, Rejects Pot Bylaws
By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
Carol Francesconi takes the gavel as moderator for the meeting.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Town meeting on Tuesday night rejected four citizens' petitions that would have greatly limited marijiuna facilities.
Voters did approve amended versions of the 16 other articles on the annual town meeting warrant during a nearly three-hour session held in the Hoosac Valley High School gym.
That included a revised fiscal 2021 budget of $6,640,131.64, authorizations for purchasing a number of vehicles and the redirection of $60,000 approved last year but unused toward a design work for turning Cheshire School into a municipal complex.
The marijuana bylaws would have required any growing facility to file a water usage report annually to the town; allowed only one non-retail cannabis facility in town; broadened the definition of "facility" to include accessories such as fences, plants and related items; set up a 24-hour odor control; and asked the Planning Board to revisit its approved bylaw.
iBerkshiresTV host Jeff Snoonian speaks with Selectmen Chairwoman Michelle Francesconi and Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV about the upcoming annual town meeting, the budget voters will decide and the precautions being put in place because of COVID-19.
The annual town meeting is being held... click for more
On Friday morning, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association released the sport-specific modifications that on Thursday unanimously were approved by the associationís COVID-19 Task Force. click for more
The Finance Committee recommended using $376,000 in free cash to offset the tax increase necessitated by the town's rising costs. The Selectmen had decided to reduce last year's offset number from $140,000 to $110,000.
click for more
The MIAA Board of Directors Wednesday morning approved a plan that moves football and other sports the commonwealth considers at a high-risk for COVID-19 transmission to a newly created Fall II season that will be wedged between the winter and spring. click for more