Bulletins . . .

◊ Burning Season Started January 15. DETAILS.
National Grid Warns of
Payment Scams
Christmas Tree Fire Safety REMINDER (video) 

Selectboard Newsbits — January 9 Meeting . . .

♦ Franklin County Solid Waste District (FCSWD): Executive Director Jan Ameen made a presentation about FCSWD services to the Board. FCSWD may be receiving a new grant from DEP that will mean more free, environmentally-friendly items (like composters) for Hawley residents.

Town Office Window Replacements: 5 bids have been received.  They will be presented for decision at the next Selectboard Meeting (January 23).

Electricity Aggregation Proposal: Cass Nawrocki is researching, and will present her conclusions at the next meeting. The determination will be whether the Town is interested in participating in such a program with FRCOG.

Committee Time-Spent Surveys: Cass has sent out surveys to Committee Chairs to find out how much time is spent on each committee. Results will be incorporated into Finance/Personnel Committee position and compensation discussions.  

Students Take Note . . .

WELLS FUND SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE MARCH 20: Established under the will of former Greenfield resident Fred W. Wells, the Wells Fund is used to award scholarships to students in agricultural, mechanical and professional fields.

The maximum award for any one year is $1,000.00, and individual recipients are limited to a total of four thousand dollars over the course of an academic career.

Hawley residents who have lived in the town for at least two years immediately prior to the date of application are eligible. Academic record, need, character, leadership ability, extra-curricular activities and employment are taken into consideration. Students of all ages are welcome to apply.

Scholarship awards are contingent upon the applicant’s matriculation from high school into an academic program. 

Applications must be postmarked on or before March 20, 2018 to be considered. Download an application form HERE

Green Communities Progress Continues . . .

AT THE HAWLEY SELECTBOARD MEETING that followed the Special Town Meeting on December 12, project team member Will Cosby gave an update on several energy upgrade projects that are underway, or being contemplated, under the auspices of the state’s Green Communities program:

1. The Solar Panel Installation at the Town garage is up, running, and producing at full power. However, one of the data sending units is not functioning properly, and will be replaced this week or shortly after Christmas. This sending unit is critical to the Town’s ability to receive cash reimbursements for energy production from the state. The unit in question is still under warranty.
2. The bidding process for the Mini Split Heat Pump System to augment the existing blower at the Town office is complete. The “mini-split” is 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. Approval has been received, and the unit should be installed and operational by the end of  February, latest.   Continue reading

New Hope for Hawley Broadband . . .

AFTER ALMOST FIVE YEARS of meetings, phone calls, interactions with MBI and thousands of email messages, the Hawley Communications Committee has finally received a proposal for Broadband that seems to meet all requirements. It is not likely to cost the Town any taxpayer money.

This proposal is from WiValley, a Keene, NH-based Internet network builder and services provider which has significant experience in designing, implementing and operating fiber, wireless and hybrid fiber-wireless Internet systems in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

The proposal would involve a multi-town network. Four towns — Hawley, Savoy, Florida and Monroe — were all included in the proposal group. In addition, the Towns of Middlefield and Worthington would be joined in a similar network.

Here are some features that made the proposal interesting to the Committee:  Continue reading

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.