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Cheshire Receives Funds to Address Route 116

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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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.
Navin said he and Mark Webber worked with Housing and Economic Development Secretary Michael Kennealy and state Rep. John Barrett III to at least get some funding to address the deteriorating roadway that has gone years without substantial maintenance.
The town is responsible for maintaining about three miles of the state highway between Adams and Savoy, based on an agreement decades ago.
Navin said the plan is to pave from the Savoy line to the Maple Drive area.
"We will start at the Savoy line and go as far as we can," he said.
Navin said the new grant cycle is open now and he plans to apply for funds to finish the job as well as replace guard rails.
"That is all in the works and hopefully we can keep going with that," he said. 
He said other than that, his crew has been busy with snow removal.
"We have been dealing with what seems to be a continuous snowstorm," he said. "Luckily we have had enough of a break in the weather to deal with the breaks in the equipment."
Police Chief Tim Garner also gave a report and said the new cruiser is ready. He said the old cruiser will be given to the fire department to replace their command vehicle.
He added that the department received a $32,000 grant to replace portable radios, vehicle radios, and the base station radio.
Garner said the old ones would be turned over to the Fire Department.

Tags: MassWorks grant,   state highway,   

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Hoosac Valley Regional Begins Budget Discussions

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School District has begun budget discussions and plans to present a spending plan for fiscal 2022 in March.
"We are in the middle of budget season," Superintendent Aaron Dean said at Monday's school committee meeting. "In the middle of everything we are in right now, we have to build a budget that is reflective of everything we want to do."
Business Manager Erika Snyder said the district anticipates a small increase in Chapter 70 education funding typical of past years. She said funding will likely go up $30 per foundation enrollment student. 
All in all, she said, the district would be looking at a $21,875 increase that will likely not cover fixed increases. 
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