Important Budget Hearing Wednesday Night . . .

THE MOHAWK TRAIL REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT School Committee Meeting and FY17 Budget Public Hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium at Mohawk Regional High School. 

Selectboard members, Finance Committee members, parents and citizens are invited to attend and participate in this important meeting.  The school committee will vote on the budget the following Wednesday after the district considers the feedback from this week’s hearing.

Register to Vote by February 10 . . .

TOWN CLERK PAMELA SHRIMPTON REMINDS RESIDENTS that Wednesday, February 10 is the deadline to register to vote if you want to participate in the Massachusetts Presidential Primary on Tuesday, March 1.

It is also the deadline for registered voters who wish to change their party enrollment either to another party or to “unenrolled,” which is commonly referred to as “independent.” This should not be confused with the United Independent Party (UIP); a party that will have ballots available but with no candidates printed on them. Voters registered in UIP will NOT be eligible to take a Democratic, Republican, or Green-Rainbow ballot.

With spirited contests in both parties, pervasive Continue reading

March 21 Scholarship Deadline . . .

THIS YEAR’S DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS FOR THE WELLS Scholarship program has been set for Monday, March 21.  To be eligible for consideration, all applications must have been completed and postmarked by that date.

Scholarship awards of up to $1,000 are given to students who demonstrate need, academic record, character, leadership, extra curricular activities and employment, among other factors.  Scholarships are available on a limited basis to students from Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, Northfield, Rowe and Shelburne.

Click HERE for more information and a detailed application form (large file). 

Dog Tags Due by March 31 . . .

DOG LICENSES AE NOW AVAILABLE, AND ALL PET owners must license their dogs by March 31 to avoid a late fine. Town Clerk hours are Wednesdays from 9:00 am to noon or by appointment. There will also be a rabies clinic where licenses will be available on Saturday, March 26 — location to be announced.

♦ Contact the Town Clerk by EMAIL here.

♦ Download a dog license application form HERE.

New Approach to Treasurer Position . . .

HAVING FOUND ITS OPTIONS FOR HIRING AN EXPERIENCED TREASURER from the surrounding community to be limited, the Hawley Selectboard has decided to reorganize the Town’s internal financial job functions in order to better engage the skills and talents of existing staff.  As result, Virginia Gabert has been appointed Financial Administrator, and the Town is seeking to hire a part-time Administrative Assistant to serve the Selectboard and supplement Virginia’s efforts.

Virginia’s responsibilities now include:

♦ The duties, authority and functions of the Town Treasurer;
♦ A number of Accounting functions;
♦ Ongoing support functions for the Board of Assessors; ♦ Various financial functions related to the general administration of the Town; and,
♦ Providing day-to-day guidance to the new Administrative Assistant.

Continue reading

Committee Receives Draft Broadband Plan . . .

ON THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Communications Committee Member and Municipal Light Plant (MLP) Superintendent Lark Thwing received an email from Interisle Consulting Principal Fred Goldstein containing a draft proposal for a Broadband plan for Hawley. When he looked at the level of detail and the cost projections for the proposal, Lark felt it was a joyous Holiday gift, indeed.

Work on the proposal by Interisle is being funded via a $5,000 planning grant that was awarded to Hawley by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI).

Included in the proposal was an inclusive Continue reading

Nurse Posts New Wellness Clinic Schedule . . .

HAWLEY TOWN NURSE LISA WHITE HAS ANNOUNCED the first three “2nd-Tuesday” Walk-In Wellness Clinics for Hawley residents for 2016. Here are the times and dates:

Tuesday, January 12;
♦ Tuesday, February 9;

♦ Tuesday, March 8
(Note: there is no Clinic in April).

All three Clinics are to be held from 10:30 am to 12:00 noon at the Charlemont Federated Church.

For a poster with more information, click HERE. Want to see how many patients Lisa treats on an annual basis? Click HERE.

Fire Marshall Issues Hoverboard Bulletin . . .

Subject: Advisory – Hoverboard Safety
From: “Coan, Stephen \(DFS\)” <Stephen.Coan@MassMail.State.MA.US>
To: “Coan, Stephen \(DFS\)” <stephen.coan@state.ma.us>
Date: Friday, 11/12/2015 12:25 PM

[Fire] Chiefs –

By now, most of you have heard of recent fire incidents involving hoverboards (motorized skateboards) powered by lithium-ion battery packs. Attached [HERE] is a guidance document from the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM). Little is known definitively about the causes of these fires. The Department of Fire Services is aware of only one incident in Massachusetts, which was investigated by the local fire department, who in turn reported it to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.CPSC.gov).

These hoverboards are expected to be Continue reading

MTRSD School Committee News . . .

THE FOLLOWING TWO PROJECTS are currently being undertaken by the Mohawk Trail Regional School District (MTRSD) School Committee:

I.)  Proposed Amendments to MTRSD Regional Agreement

The Mohawk District School Committee has been working for the past mtrsd-schoolhouseyear to draft proposed amendments to the Regional Agreement.  Voters in all 8 towns passed one amendment last May.  We expect 3 more amendments to be brought before the voters in the member towns at town meetings in May/June, 2016.  Briefly they are as follows:

General Clean-Up of the Language – The goal is to eliminate language that is outdated or inconsistent with current state law or Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regulations and to add language that reflects existing practice, such as changing references from K-12 to preK-12.

Re-admission of the Town of Rowe to the District – State laws regarding school funding in the early 1990s made it disadvantageous financially to all the other towns for Rowe to be a member.  School funding decisions by the state have changed greatly since that time and are no longer a factor.  Financial analysis of the past couple years indicate that it would benefit   Continue reading

Successful Cooperation Meeting . . .

THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE that took place on Wednesday, December 2 was truly special as handshakeHawley hosted five other towns in a search for ways by which hybrid fiber-wireless high-speed Internet technologies can affordably and effectively be used as an alternative to the Fiber-to-the-Premises model promulgated by MBI.

Participating Towns included:

Middlefield,
New Marlborough,
Princeton,
Royalston, and 
Savoy Continue reading