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Three major Sharon projects made advancements in 2022

SHARON — As the months passed and pandemic fears lessened somewhat, some old traditions rekindled and progress was made on three major expansion projects in 2022.

After years of study of available options for internet expansion to serve all properties in the town, the Sharon Connect Task Force guided the way to a November Town Meeting where a plan for a $1.6 million town partnership with Comcast was overwhelmingly approved by taxpayers. By year’s end, a Contract Performance Manager was hired, clearing the way for the contract to be signed. Work will begin in 2023.

Construction began in June on the expansion of the historic Hotchkiss Library, a featured landmark on the Town Green. A successful fundraising campaign had raised $3.5 million. Work continues on renovations that will bring ADA compliance for handicapped patrons and others through a convenient rear entrance, as well as providing reconfigured accessible interior spaces.

Plans for expansion of the Town Hall rear parking lot to add additional parking spaces were approved by the selectmen, clearing the way for work to begin. The project will improve drainage and allow for installation of two EV charging stations.

During the summer in recognition of a seemingly declining pandemic, a giant white tent signaled the return of two traditional events, the annual Cake Auction, dubbed “Let Them Eat Cake” to benefit the Sharon Historical Society in July, and the Book Signing to benefit the Hotchkiss Library in August. The latter event was hosted on the grounds of the historical society while the library was under construction.

A Little Green Bus was determined to be a suitable use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to help to narrow the learning gaps resulting from the pandemic. The traveling bus will visit recreational locales in town offering children fun activities and books to promote learning during warm weather months. Watch for Little Green Bus to make appearances in 2023.

Traffic and speeding motorists continued to be of concern throughout the year, particularly along Hilltop Road used by vehicles as a connector road between Route 41 and 4.

The town tentatively agreed with the concept of engineered speed humps, among other possible solutions.

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