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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 Will Try to Accommodate Hiker Camping

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Town officials will apply for a special permit on behalf of Appalachian Trail hikers to accommodate camping on the Cheshire School grounds.
 
A proposal to place a camping site on the town-owned land came to a halt last week when it was found to be in violation of the town's zoning. 
 
After some research, Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV told the board of Selectmen on Tuesday that he may have found a way to establish a campsite for through-hikers on a portion of the grounds of the vacant school.
 
"I think last week was good to get all of that information out so we know what the issues are but just because there are issues does not mean that there is not a path we can move forward on," St. John said.
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