AT ITS FEBRUARY 20 MEETING, the Hawley Selectboard provisionally approved a motion to name WiValley of Keene, NH as “vendor of choice” for Broadband implementation in Hawley. The recommendation was unanimously voted by the Hawley Communications Committee on February 14, and then again by the Selectboard on February 20.
WiValley would implement its proposal using Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) flexible grant program monies, only — in Hawley’s case, $520,000 — with no need for long-term borrowing and zero impact on taxes.
This approval is “provisional” because more due diligence needs to be done via reference checks and other means before the selection is final. However, WiValley, working in conjunction with network design firm Interisle Consulting Group of Boston, has put forward the only proposal that meets all of the criteria established by the Communications Committee.
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◊ Will Cosby reported that the new heat pump installation is now done at the Town Office. The unit is reportedly giving off “steady heat” and is much quieter than the old one.
◊ Next project is the replacement of Town Office lights with LED technology. Initial work will be accomplished by VocEd students — work to begin March 9.
◊ Will is also investigating a wood chip furnace system for the Town Garage.
◊ Highway Superintendent Gary Mitchell reported that the Town is at 85% of the Snow Roads Budget.
◊ Gary has published some interesting facts and observations about highways, sand, salt, snow, roads, plowing safety and plowing in general. View a copy HERE.
♦ BROADBAND: The meeting between the Town of Hawley Selectboard, the Communications Committee and MBI’s Peter Larkin and Cornell Robinson seemed to go well. With some caveats regarding further due diligence, the Town was given the go-ahead to negotiate with the vendor of its own choosing from among the three — Crocker, Westfield Gas/Electric and WiValley — who have submitted Broadband proposals encompassing the Town.
♦ CEMETERIES: After one minor revision, the regulations for Town-owned cemeteries are now complete, having passed muster with both the Selectboard and the Hawley Historical Commission. Downloadable copies are available for the RULES and PROCEDURES. For more information on burials and Town cemeteries, go to BURIAL AGENT.
♦ EFFICIENT HEATING/COOLING: Installation of the new heating and cooling system at the Town Office is nearly complete. You may have to look twice to find it, as the two units installed inside the building are high and unobtrusive. There’s also a compressor unit outside, just behind the end of the wheelchair ramp. While this unit is a little more visible, its “works” will soon be obscured by a protective lattice.
♦ SCHOOL ASSESSMENTS: Hussain Hamdan reported that Hawley’s assessments for Hawlemont and Mohawk Regional schools should be a combined approximation of $10,000 less than last year. This is assuming that current State estimates hold up.
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