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Cheshire Interim Town Administrator to Begin Search For Replacement

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — Interim Town Administrator Mark Webber will collect information from the Selectmen to help in the permanent town administrator search process.
 
"The interim's job is to work himself out of a job," Webber said Tuesday.
 
Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV resigned from the position late in 2020. Webber, who served as town administrator before St. John, agreed to step into the role in an interim capacity.
 
Webber asked that all input be sent to him via email. He said input would help build a job description. For example, Webber asked if the selectmen wanted a full-time, part-time, or shared town administrator. He also wanted to know what kind of authority the new town administrator should have.
 
"When I hear back from you folks I can compile and get a consensus of the bigger picture," Webber said. 
 
Webber said he knew there were a lot of open municipal management positions in the state at this moment in time.
 
"I don't want to be optimistic or pessimistic; I just want to keep the ball rolling," Webber said.
 
Board of Health member CJ Garner also spoke at the meeting and said currently there are 23 active COVID-19 cases in town. He said an early report of 34 cases was incorrect. 
 
Garner said Cheshire is in step with the rest of the county in terms of increasing numbers.
 
In Fire Chief Thomas Francesconi's report, he told the Selectmen that the heating issues in the fire station have been resolved.
 
"Everything is working right now and it is good to go," he said. "We thankfully have heat in the station."
 
Late last year he said the aging boiler system in the fire station had broken circulator pumps that could no longer be replaced. He said they were without heat in the kitchen and apparatus bay. 
 
Highway Superintendent Robert Navin had some good news and said Highway Department grounds person Andy Kachel is cleared to return to work on Feb. 1.
 
"He will return in a couple of weekends and we are glad to get him back," Navin said. "... That will be a huge help to us."
 
Kachel, who is also a volunteer firefighter, was diagnosed with cancer last year. The Cheshire Fire Department held a spaghetti supper for Kachel in October.
 
Navin said Kachel gave him a letter from his doctor indicating that he could return to work.

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Cheshire Receives Funds to Address Route 116

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town has received partial funding through a MassWorks grant to pave a portion of Route 116.
 
Highway Superintendent Robert Navin told the Selectmen on Tuesday that the town received $200,000 from the state to pave about half of the state road.
 
"That is the big news and at least we can pave the worst half of it, the upper section," he said. "That will be as soon as the weather breaks."
 
Navin said the town first applied for the project in full through MassWorks, but they were unsuccessful.
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