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Cheshire Select Board Discusses CARES Act Funding

By Gregory FournieriBerkshires Correspondent
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CHESHIRE, Mass.—The Selectmen on Tuesday discussed CARES Act spending with Town Accountant Lynne Lemanski.

The town has "requested almost up to the limit of what [Cheshire is] eligible for," Lemanski said. She noted that the town is eligible for $277,199 and it has requested $276,828 thus far. Cheshire must request the remaining funds and spend them before the end of the year or return them to the state government.

Cheshire has left unspent close to $110,000, and the Selectmen brainstormed ideas about where to spend the remaining money.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding is limited to certain types of expenditures, including public health infrastructure and unemployment for municipal workers. In keeping with these restrictions, Selectman Ray Killeen suggested buying some portable pump-operated hand-washing or sanitizing stations.

Noting that Cheshire is opening up and have more events, Killeen said it would be beneficial "to have six or seven [stations] on hand so as people mingle, they have the ability to sanitize [their] hands."

Selectman Jason Levesque noted that the Appalachian Trail campsite on Church Street could use this for the through hikers to wash their hands.

Selectman Shawn McGrath wondered if personal protective equipment (PPE) "can be purchased [by the town] up front in case there's a spike" in COVID-19 cases in the future.

Member Mark Biagini also suggested using the funds to purchase a sign to place outside of Town Hall for residents to see agendas for meetings and other town business. He said residents who were still concerned about COVID-19 could access this information without having to go inside the building.

Lemanski said she would check to see if this would be eligible for funding.

In other news:

  • Town Administrator Jen Morse proposed that the town move to a biweekly warrant schedule for vendors so that Cheshire's bills would be due the same day as payroll. The board adopted this request.
  • The board approved a job description for the harbormaster position. Applicants can find the description on the town's website.
  • The board voted to pay a bill for $2,770 for a cemetery roof repair.

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Cheshire Approves Single Tax Rate, Declines to Reveal Estimated Rate

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen approved a single tax rate on Tuesday night for fiscal 2022. 
After a short presentation by the town assessors, the board approved a single, rather than split rate, but withheld the actual estimated tax rate that property owners can expect. 
"We are here to just get a vote from you guys so we can move forward with the tax rate, which we will submit when we go back to the office," Assessors Administrator Robin Wadsworth said. "Everything is ready to roll."
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