CHESHIRE, Mass. — After a year without large gatherings, the town block parties are back.
"We're extremely excited to once again offer this opportunity to gather as a community and we've experienced an absolutely overwhelming response from residents, local businesses and organizations regarding this year's event," Cheshire Community Association President John Tremblay said.
The Cheshire Community Association has tried to organize two block parties every year since 2015. Over the years, the group has secured Massachusetts Cultural Council grants to enhance the gatherings.
But in 2020 the pandemic prevented the group from organizing a party or really gathering at all.
"It's definitely been a challenging year dealing with the limits on our ability to socialize in person," Tremblay said. "Once the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted on May 29, our Cheshire Community Association committee started entertaining the idea of presenting the event this summer because it's quickly become a tradition and we knew the residents were hoping it would happen."
"This is the sixth year and we'll reach a milestone as it's our 10th town block party."
The Bobby Sweet Band will perform. There will also be raffles, food and ice cream.
This year's party is scheduled for Friday, July 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. As it has done in the past, the town will close down a portion of Church Street near Town Hall. If it rains, the party will be moved indoors to St. Mary's Church.
"We measure our success by smiles on faces and would like to note that entry to all our events is free so everyone can join in the fun," Tremblay said. "There's something for all ages ... come on out this Friday night and see what Cheshire Proud is all about."
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen has begun the process of cleaning up some of the town's procedures that will help the government run more smoothly.
This appears to be a result of new Town Administrator Jennifer Morse, who is a full-time employee with more time to manage the town's resources than Cheshire has had before.
At the meeting Tuesday, Morse presented some new or updated forms that were approved by the board. These included time sheets, a special permit application, and a purchasing policy.
She also presented a product from the Technical Assistance Bureau, which is part of the state's Division of Local Services. The product in question is a free financial management review, she said, which "really look[s] into the accounting, the treasurer, the collector, [and] the assessor's piece of how the town functions."
"You will find things that you're not happy about," Morse said. "But it's things that need some work."
Morse said she has worked with the bureau before in other communities, and has found it helpful. "They're great to work with," she said.
The board unanimously voted to join the waiting list for the bureau, which will come in October and issue a report to the town by the end of the year.
The Cheshire Community Association has tried to organize two block parties every year since 2015. Over the years, the group has secured Massachusetts Cultural Council grants to enhance the block parties.
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Morse, most recently town administrator in Ashfield, was selected from three candidates for the post last month. Her hiring had depended on town meeting's approval of a salary for a full-time administrator.
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