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Cheshire Looking for Pickleball Court Options

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Selectmen are looking for different locations to install a permanent pickleball court in town.

"There is a group of residents that have been playing pickleball, and they have been playing at the school," Chairwoman Michelle Francesconi said. "But there are a lot of kids who use that court so they are looking for a permanent location to play."
 
Francesconi said the area around the new Appalachian Trail campground was considered as well as the former ice skating rink, however, these weren't seen as viable options.
 
"I think we need to look beyond those," she said. 
 
Francesconi felt the rear of the community center was the best location. She said currently there is a shuffleboard court there
 
Council on Aging board member Gene Gebarowski said this concrete pad would have to be doubled to support pickleball 
 
The amount of $8,000 was mentioned but Gebarowski estimated that the project would cost more than this to do correctly.
 
"They are quite a bit of money," he said. "I think it would be more money than what we have." 
 
He did not think there was enough money in the untapped Recreation account and said a recent American Rescue Plan grant has already been called for.
 
He said they can apply for another ARP grant, and the board suggested applying for a Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities grant.
 
In the meantime, the group of seniors needed a place to play.
 
Sandra Sloane suggested putting up a fence around a portion of the court so pickleball would not interfere with the kids and the kids would not interfere with pickleball. 
 
"We certainly do not want to bonk kids on the back of the head with a ball," she said. "And they are always asking if they can play."
 
Francesconi did not see the fence as an option but felt signage indicating when the court would be used for pickleball could be installed.
 
In other business, the town appointed Webber, Tremblay, William Lewis, Kelly Singer, and Joseph Wilk to the Town Administrator Search Committee.
 
They also heard a presentation from Carrieanne Petrik, the regional representative  for the Berkshires and Hilltowns Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program (MVP). The town already has a planning grant that is set to expire if not used and must create a committee to address the program.
 
Petrik said if the town has a plan in place, it will likely get an extension.
 
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Cheshire to Address Emergency Lighting, Signage in Public Buildings

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town will address broken emergency lighting and signage in public buildings. 
 
The Selectmen met again with the Finance Committee on Tuesday night to go over the draft budget and they discussed further building maintenance and some immediate concerns over safety.
 
Specifically the lack of working exit signs and emergency lighting in town buildings.
 
"We definitely need to address this," Chairwoman Michelle Francesconi said. "We can't have employees working in this situation and we have to address it."
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