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The Selectmen are revisiting the road grader problem after town meeting rejected a plan to buy a used one.

Cheshire to Look Into Road Grader Options

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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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. 
Voters were not totally opposed to purchasing a grader but wanted more time to consider other options, such as subcontracting the service out.
The entire town meeting lasted nearly four hours and the grader was one of two warrant articles that voters denied. An extensive amount of time was spent discussing the machine -- which is used to scrape dirt roads -- and options such as leasing, contracting or making do with the current one. 
St. John said he would reach out to contractors about servicing the roads. Depending on the timeliness of this, the town could revisit the purchase at a special town meeting or in another year at annual town meeting.
The Selectmen did ask St. John to submit a report outlining the entire meeting and actions taken. 
"Some things in the  budget that were moved around ... and I can get you an amended budget," he said. "Aside from that the articles went the way they did."
The failed marijuana citizen's petition article also came up and Moderator and Planning Board member Donna DeFino said she was taken aback by accusations that the original marijuana bylaws were thrown together.
"I was quite displeased that several people felt it necessary to imply that the bylaws last year were pushed through without discussion," she said. "Five months we discussed this and you can't slap this together in three minutes."
The proposed bylaw would have regulated outdoor marijuana cultivation and decrease the "public nuisance" it would cause. This was in response to a proposed outdoor cultivation operation on Stafford Hill.
On Monday night, residents argued both in favor and against the bylaw and when taken to a vote, it came in as a tie which meant the article failed.
It was noted that because the article did not follow the proper Planning Board procedure, even if it was approved the attorney general would likely reject it.
St. John did say he thought the meeting went well and there was good discussion.
"We had a very lively and vibrant discussion and we have some great things coming in the upcoming year," he said. 
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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. 
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