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Cheshire Receives $10,000 Senior Grant

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town has received a $10,000 AARP grant to support age-friendly activities and purchases.
Town Administrator Emund St. John IV said the AARP grant will allow the town to enhance the Council on Aging and senior activities.
"I was pretty happy to hear about that," he told the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday..
The grant can be used to increase mobility options for local seniors and St. John mentioned purchasing recumbent bikes and helmets. 
The grant can also support improving public spaces and increasing affordable housing among other things. 
In other business, St. John gave the Selectmen an outline of the fiscal $6,262,518 budget and the small changes that were made during town meeting earlier this month.
The small salary changes accounted for about a $112 increase in the budget and St. John said they still were left with a $46,000 levy buffer.
"I think we are in pretty decent shape," he said. "I thought overall we are very healthy." 
St. John projected residents will see an $13.57 tax rate, which is a 47 cent increase.
He did note that this is only an estimate and nothing is official until the tax rate is certified later this year.
"These are just preliminary numbers that gave us guideposts," he said. "These should not be the numbers people rely on." 
St. John also asked that any Cheshire parents with children in the Adams-Cheshire Regional District who are interested in serving on the Superintendent Search Committee contact the town.
"Anyone interested please contact the town," he said. "They want to get this up and running sooner than later."
With the imminent departure of Superintendent John Vosburgh, the School Committee agreed to immediately enter into a search process.
Selectman Mark Biagini will serve as the Cheshire selectman representative on the committee.

Tags: Council on Aging,   

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Cheshire Highway Foreman Advocates for New Grader

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
CHESHIRE, Mass. — New Highway Superintendent Bob Navin wants the town to take better care of its dirt roads. 
He has asked the board to propose at town meeting buying a grader as opposed to continuing to rent one as they currently do. He has other ideas as well.
"The procedures here weren't to do them how I would do a dirt road," Navin said. "They don't rake them all the time because they didn't have a rake that worked all that great. After grading it needs to be raked out well ... compacted by a roller ... putting a dust control agent on it. That's the direction I want to head in with our gravel roads. A road done right will last a lot longer."
As for the grader purchase, that will be taken up by the town at next Tuesday's special town meeting. Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV prepared numbers for the board that weren't shared publicly but most members agreed that buying might be the best option.
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