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Cheshire Selectmen Get Project Updates

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Selectmen last week went over a list of various projects in town that included road work and security improvements.
Highway Superintendent Robert Navin during his update said Route 116 paving work has been mostly completed for the year.
"All of that work has been completed so that project is wrapped up for this year," Navin said. "More work will be done next year."
He said new center lines were also painted. He said this was extended into town while the equipment was available.
He added that on some town roads they utilized rubberized chip sealing. He said although this seal does not last as long as blacktop, it is about a fifth of the price.
"We sealed everything that we wanted to seal. I think it came out well, and it should preserve our roads," Navin said. "We will see how it goes over the winter and maybe there are more roads we could do."
He said the sealing lasts about five years. With the dire condition of many roads in Cheshire, Chapter 90 road funds only go so far, he added.
"We don't have the money to pave every road in town ... but if we try different things we can get more roads done," he said. "I am looking for cost-effective ways to get the roads up to where they need to be because they aren't great."
Navin said the department will continue pothole patching and winterization efforts over the next few weeks.
Town Administrator Jennifer Morse said she was in contact with the Berkshire Lock Shop Co. that the town plans to utilize to rekey all town buildings.
"We reviewed all of the different buildings and all of the different keys that we will need so I am just waiting for a quote from them," Morse said.
With this rekeying effort, the Selectmen plan to roll out a new key policy that will have rules against key copying. Also, it will include penalties for losing keys.
"Just for accountability. If someone takes out a key and they lose it they have to be held responsible," Navin said. "It is not just a matter of getting another key."
The policy would include a key sign-out system.
The Selectmen also gave Morse the go-ahead to apply for an information technology grant that would allow the town to implement upgraded security and communication services. Morse added that she hopes to be able to purchase desktops for herself and the fire chief.
The board also met with members of the Zarek family who want to install a Little Free Library near Father Tom Campsite. 
The Selectmen liked the idea but wanted to run the idea by the Appalachian Trail volunteers first. 
The volunteers designed the campsite to allow privacy and to keep it separate from the bike trail. There was a concern the weatherized bookshelf would draw rail trail users into the campsite.
"There are a lot of moving parts and we will get back to you once we work out these details," Chairwoman Michelle Francesconi said.
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Adams Altering Two Precincts to Reflect Changes in Population

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen last week voted to alter Precincts 2 and 3 to better match population. This won't change the number of town meeting members but it will change the voting precinct for one.
Town Clerk Haley Meczywor presented new Census data to the board Wednesday and said with a decrease of 299 residents over a 10-year period, the state has recommended that the town change the borders of the two precincts.
"In order to make our precincts as equal as possible, the state is recommended that we make a minor change from Precinct 3 to Precinct 2," she said.
The last Census was done in 2010. Then, the population count was 8,485. In 2020, the count was 8,166 — a 299 decrease. 
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