Bulletins . . .

Special Town Meeting:
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Both Articles Passed Unanimously
Window Replacement
RFQ, Bids Due Jan. 2

Special Town Meeting Set for December 12 . . .

The Hawley Selectboard has set Tuesday, December 12 as the date for a Special Town Meeting to discuss and vote on two matters — one of which is fairly routine and another that could have far-reaching consequences for the Town. The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm.

The first, rather routine, matter, which appears on the Special Town Meeting Warrant as Article 2, involves transfer of $10,000 from the “. . . Highway Department Stabilization Fund, or other available fund, for the purchase of a [snow] plow.”

The second matter, Article 1, involves the enactment of a Moratorium on local actions regarding recreational marijuana cultivation, production and retail sales until such time as the Town has an opportunity to study the matter and enact local bylaws and regulations. Continue reading

Kidde Recalls Hundreds of Fire Extinguishers . . .

CITING THE TENDENCY OF SOME FIRE extinguishers with plastic handles to get clogged over time, Kidde division of United Technologies has issued a recall and replacement program for 134 fire extinguisher models.

The announcement was the subject of a memo issued to Fire Service professionals on November 2.

The fire extinguishers were sold between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017.  Hawley residents who have fire extinguishers with plastic or push-button “Pindicator” handles would be well-advised to check the downloadable MEMO to determine if they are affected by the recall and replacement program.  Contact information is included in that document.

Selectboard Sends Housing Innovation Support Letter . . .

THE HAWLEY SELECTBOARD HAS SENT a Letter of Support to Jan Sullivan, Acting Director of the State Bureau of Environmental Health, asking for revisions to the State Housing Code.

The aim of the revisions is to give local Towns more jurisdictional initiative in allowing for non-traditional structures and materials which meet the “. . . spirit of and intent of the Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation,” even though no provisions have yet been made for them in the building codes.

As the Selectboard letter states, “This choice brings within reach . . .  critical benefits to our rural homeowners such as the ability to age-in-place by downsizing and living off the grid.”

The proposed code revisions were put together by Glen Ayers, FRCOG Public Health Agent, who developed them in conjunction with the Town of Wendell Board of Health.

Download the entire Selectboard Letter of Support HERE.

New Heat Pump System for Town Office . . .

Remember all the noise that attends meetings in the Town Office in the winter?  That is about to change, as the Town embraces new heat pump technology for the century-old structure.

Working with FRCOG and funded under the auspices of the state-wide Green Communities program, the Town has issued a formal request for price quotes for a “Mini Split Heat Pump System,” a type of heat pump technology which uses air as its energy source for warmth in the winter and also for cooling in the summer.  The system promises to be more efficient than the current propane based heating system, and much, much quieter.

According to a recent Selectboard meeting report by Will Cosby, FRCOG has helped Hawley prepare a 32-page price quote document which is now available to HVAC contractors, who will have until November 21 to do their investigations and submit quotes for the project.  A copy of the bid document is available for download HERE.

Charles Stetson . . .

CHARLES STETSON, a long-time resident of Hawley who served the Town in a number of important roles over the years, passed away on Saturday, November 11.  A US Army Veteran, he was 75 years old.

According to an obituary in the November 13 Greenfield Recorder [access it HERE], a “… celebration of life service will be held Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 pm at Mary Lyon Church in Buckland.” No calling hours have been established.

Charlie and his spouse, Cynthia, lived in Hawley on West Hawley Road for many years, moving to their current address — 29 Potter Road, Rowe — two years ago.  During his time in Hawley, Charlie performed Continue reading

Virginia Gabert Wins State Award . . .

AMONG THE MANY HATS THAT VIRGINIA GABERT WEARS on Hawley’s behalf is the title, Assessors’ Clerk. This means that she toils
for hours wrestling with the details of valuing properties and taking
care of many of the Town’s interactions with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue regarding revenues and taxation.

Recently, Virginia was recognized at the State level for her contributions to the Town of Hawley Board of Assessors.  The setting was the Summit View Restaurant in Holyoke on September 28, and the occasion was a meeting of Assessors’ Clerks from the western half of the state.

Virginia was named Assessors’ Clerk of the Year, and was presented with a plaque by MAAO, the Massachusetts Association Of Assessing Officers.

Be sure to congratulate Virginia next time you’re in the Town Office, and check out the shiny new plaque on display above her desk.

A Well-Attended Dedication . . .

About 40 Hawley residents were on hand Sunday afternoon,  August 13 to witness the ribbon cutting of the joint Town of Hawley – Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)  project to repair and maintain Hunt and Middle Roads.

While much of the focus of the project is on restoring these roads in the Dubuque State Forest, it would also have the effect of rejoining East and West Hawley, without the need to travel through Charlemont or Plainfield, for a number of months every year.

Attending dignitaries included former Selectboard Chair John Sears, current Selectboard Chair Hussain Hamdan, State Representative Paul Mark, State Senator Adam Hinds, DCR Commissioner Leo Roy and several state forestry officials.  Also attending was a representative from Lane Construction, the firm which will be rebuilding the roads. Continue reading

Green Communities PV Project Progresses . . .

THE TOWN’S PLAN TO BUILD a 10 kW photovoltaic (solar electric) system on the roof of the Town Garage is progressing nicely, project coordinators Lloyd Crawford and Will Cosby reported at the August 8 Selectboard meeting.

FRCOG is providing the Town with procurement services, and bid invitations have gone out, with the bid opening date set for Wednesday, August 16 at 2:00 pm.

Once the vendor is selected and the expenditure is approved by the State, it should be a matter of a few months until the system is up and running, Cosby indicated, with a completion date in November or December.

This and other energy conservation projects planned by the Town are being funded via a $136,920 grant from the Massachusetts Green Communities program.

MIT Cycling Team Race Approved . . .

THE HAWLEY SELECTBOARD APPROVED THE USE of Hawley roads for a part of the annual MIT Cycling Team bike race, which will occur on the weekend of September 23 and 24.

Called the “Sliderule Shredfest,” the event will involve riders from MIT, UMASS and other colleges. Activities on Saturday, August 23  will focus on the UMass campus in Amherst, and then the Sunday race will take place at the Thunder Mountain Bike Park in Charlemont and Hawley.

Gun Registration, Renewal Delays . . .

HAWLEY POLICE CHIEF JARED BELLOWS reported at the Tuesday, July 25 Selectboard meeting that a change in state policy regarding firearms licenses is causing unusually long renewal delays. 

As of January 1, the state began refusing to accept anything but electronic applications that are processed using the Massachusetts Instant Record Check System (MIRCS).  This changeover has caused a backlog of renewals, and the fact that Hawley has not been issued a copy of the MIRCS software by the State adds to the problem.

Jared, who also serves as Charlemont’s Chief of Police, advises gun owners to submit early enough to allow plenty of time to process renewals and new applications.  That could be as long as 12 weeks. 

While Jared said that the backlog has been sorted out and renewal cards should be on their way in a couple of weeks, it will still be a while until the system becomes efficient.  Chick HERE for information on how to reach Jared.