Bulletins . . .

Rabies Clinic Saturday, March 24:

Broadband Community Briefing Meeting,
Hawlemont School, March 29. Download NOTICE.
Dog Licenses Due April 1. Download FORM.

Community Broadband Briefing Set for March 29 . . .

THE HAWLEY COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE will be hosting a Broadband Briefing Session for residents and businesses in Hawley, Savoy, Florida and Monroe at 6:00 pm, Thursday, March 29 at Hawlemont School. Presenters will include Brian Foucher, President, WiValley, and Fred Goldstein, Partner, Interisle Consulting Group.

The purpose of the meeting will be to inform residents of progress, and talk about next steps for this “affordable regional broadband proposal.”

According to a Communications Committee flier on the subject,

For several years now, rural Western Massachusetts towns like Hawley, Savoy, Florida, Monroe and Middlefield have been struggling to find a way to build affordable broadband for their communities, given their terrain, tax base and state allocations that cover only one-third of the cost of fiber.

Topics to be covered will include:

This briefing session is sponsored by the Hawley Communications Committee with the support of Hawley and Savoy Selectboard members.

Download Briefing Session Flier HERE.

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

Broadband: WiValley is a “Go” . . .

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.
Continue reading

Selectboard Newsbits – February 20 Meeting . . .


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.

Selectboard Newsbits – February 6 Meeting . . .

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.

Disclaimer (hover before clicking).

Heating-Cooling Renovations to begin February 5

HVAC CONTRACTOR GATES PLUMBING, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and GeoThermal Systems will begin installing the Hawley Town Office’s  new “Mini Split Heat Pump System” — a type of energy-efficient heat pump technology that uses air as its energy source for warmth in the winter and also for cooling in the summer — on Monday, February 5. This project, which is fully funded under the auspices of the Massachusetts Green Communities program, should be complete by the end of next week.

According to Administrative Assistant Cass Nawrocki, “The largest impact of the work is likely to be some disruption to the heating situation, mainly because of workers coming and going through the doors, and a brief time without power when the final electric hookup is completed.   Our existing propane heater will continue to chug away as needed.   There are no expected changes to staff hours.”

Selectboard Newsbits — January 23 Meeting . . .

Town Office Window Replacements: Bids are still under consideration. Final decision will be made at the next Selectboard Meeting (February 6).

Electricity Aggregation Proposal: The Selectboard met with Bob Dean, Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) regarding an Electricity Aggregation project. After hearing his presentation, the Board voted to continue the investigation, appointing Will Cosby as Representative and Bob Root as Alternate for purposes of participating in meetings and reporting back to the Town.

Animal Control Officer: Chris Tirone was reappointed to this position.

♦ Veterans Tax Options: Two options for Veterans were discussed and tabled.

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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