News

This is where to find out what's going on here in Hawley, MA. CLICK for bulletins relating to Hawley Events, Meetings, Office Hours.

FINANCIAL POSITIONS AVAILABLE

Part time positions are available as Treasurer; Collector and Accountant for the Town of Hawley.  These positions include significant financial skills.  Candidates must have background in finance management, and municipal accounting.  Salaries are commensurate with experience.

Send applications and resumes to Board of Selectmen, 8 Pudding Hollow Road, Hawley, MA 01339 (via fax to 413-339-4959, or via email by clicking HERE).  Applications accepted until positions are filled.  The Town of Hawley is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

HAWLEY ASSESSORS RESPOND TO LATEST NEFF POSITION PIECE -- On June 11, the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) published a position piece in the Greenfield Recorder extolling the benefits to small towns of the recent Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decision allowing that organization (and others like it) to hold large tracts of land in Hawley and other Massachesetts towns while paying zero in real estate property taxes.

The Hawley Assessors responded, saying, in essence, that they'd "rather have the money," and discussing the long-term effects of the SJC decision on small, rural towns.  That response was published in the Recorder on Thursday, July 3, and is available for download HERE.  


WARNING -- 50% of the ticks tested from Hawley so far have showed positive for Lyme Disease.  The testing is being done by UMASS in conjunction with FRCOG's Community Public Health Service. Be vigilant with tick checks, and submit ticks for testing.


PUBLIC NOTICE OF SURVEY WORK

Between June and October 2014, staff members of Trout Unlimited and community volunteers will be conducting field assessments of stream crossings within the Deerfield River Watershed, including the Town of Hawley.

For more complete information on affected communities and the purposes of the survey, download the public notice HERE.

FCSWMD ISSUES REMINDERS ABOUT COMPOST PAILS, LATE-SUMMER EVENTS -- The Franklin County Solid Waste Management District reminding area residents about composting items, and fall cleanup events.  Here's a synopsis: 
Kitchen compost pails are available at many town and also at the district office in Greenfield.  These 1.9-gallon pails are meant to collect food waste in the kitchen, and the materials then emptied into backyard or municipal compost bins.
FCSWMD is holding its annual hazardous waste collection on Saturday, September 20th, concurrently at GCC Main Campus and Orange Transfer Station.  To participate, area residents must pre-register between August 15th and September 12th.  
The District is holding its fall “Clean Sweep” bulky waste collection on Saturday, October 18, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Buckland Recreation Facility on Rt. 112 South, the Northfield Highway Garage, and the Whately Transfer Station.
For full information on these and other services provided by FCSWMD, including pricing, click HERE.

FEEDBACK SOUGHT FOR BYLAW FOR LARGE-SCALE SOLAR INSTALLATIONS --The Planning Board of the Town of Hawley is ACTIVELY seeking feedback and guidance as it finalizes a proposed by-law concerning large-scale solar installations. This by-law will affect how the Town manages this issue going forward.  NOW is the time to offer your comments and insights.

Please review the draft of the proposed by-law for large-scale solar installations by following the link below --

http://www.townofhawley.com/hawley_docs/Bylaws/Hawley-Third-Draft-3-0-Pr...

-- and send your feedback to:

planning@townofhawley.com

NEW APPOINTMENTS LISTED -- A small Town like Hawley is fueled by the efforts of its volunteers.  While some appointed and elected positions do receive stipends, very few are paid highly enough to constitute a "living."  So all who serve the Town deserve our thanks.

The following is a list of people whose appointments to various Town roles and committees were approved at the Selectboard meeting held on Tuesday, June 17.  Some of them have served in the same capacity for several years, and are being reappointed.  All of them deserve our cooperation and support.  The list has been sorted alphabetically by the volunteers' last names:

Joyce Charland - Council on Aging (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Gregory Cox - Fire Chief (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Gregory Cox - Forest Fire Warden (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Gregory Cox - Emergency Management Director (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Gregory Cox - Measurer of Wood and Surveyor of Lumber (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Gregory Cox - Representative to Regional Emergency Planning Commission (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Lloyd Crawford - Conservation Commission (3 year term, exp. 2017)
Peter Mitchell - Agriculture Commission (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Pamela Shrimpton - Historical Commission (3 year term, exp. 2017)
Pamela Shrimpton - Burial Agent (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Kathryn Sternstein - Planning Board (5 year term, exp. 2019)
Cyndie Stetson - Council on Aging (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Christopher Tirone - Animal Control Officer (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Christopher Tirone - Representative to Veterans Service Center (1 year term, exp. 2015)
Lisa Turner - Council on Aging (1 year term, exp. 2015)

In addition, the following people have been appointed as Election Registrars in the past two months:

Margaret Eggert
Daniel Hoyt
Melanie Poudrier
Pamela Shrimpton

A more complete list of the Town's Fiscal 2015 appointees will be published on this website shortly.

SELECTBOARD CONSIDERS OPTIONS  IN LIGHT OF ADVERSE SJC RULING -- While the news has been out since May 15 that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) found against the Hawley Assessors and the Appellate Tax Board in their disagreement with the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) over the issue of NEFF's alleged tax exempt status, this does not mean that the question has been put to final rest.  It became clear at the Tuesday, May 20 Selectboard meeting that there is a great deal of interest in placing limitations on some tax exemptions and finding ways to shore up the ongoing ability of low-population-density towns like Hawley to generate the revenue needed to finance their operations.

Given the fact that the SJC is the highest court in the Commonwealth, the appeal process seems to have reached its end.  The other option is to work through the legislature, and that is what the Town is most likely to pursue, joining with other towns in the Commonwealth that are also concerned that rulings like this one will further restrict their revenue sources.  Along those lines, the Selectboard has asked Virginia Gabert and the Board of Assessors to explore sources of support within the Massachusetts assessing community, and to organize a meeting of interested parties.  Virginia reports that she has sent an email to the Executive Director of the the Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers (MAAO), and has received an immediate and supportive response.

This website will continue to follow these events as they develop.  Meanwhile . . .
Click
HERE to download the SJC Decision;
HERE to download the Hawley Assessors' response;
HERE for Recorder coverage of Hawley's reaction to SJC decision; and,

HERE  for Assessors' Article in "My Turn" section of Recorder. 

NATIONAL GRID URGES USE OF "CALL BEFORE YOU DIG" NUMBER -- Spring and early summer are the times in Hawley when the digging, trenching and excavating begin every year in earnest.  According to utility National Grid [disclaimer], this is also a time of danger, as ". . . there were 520 natural gas or electrical network incidents caused by damage to the system . . ." during 2013.  These were attributed to excavator error or failure to call "811" prior to beginning work.

811?  Yes, there is a special "Dig Safe®" number that has been set up specifically for the purpose of tracking dig sites and avoiding the kinds of problems -- like power outages and natural gas leaks -- that have been all-too-prevalent in the past.  The 811 number is a multi-utility service, so residents and contractors can place one call and not have to worry about which utility is involved.

More information, along with some relevant website links, can be found in a press release that National Grid issued as part of its efforts in support of 'National Safe Digging Month'.  Download it HERE. 

EMERGENCY-PREPAREDNESS KIT CHECKLIST AVAILABLE --  One thing to come out of the Emergency P reparedness meeting that was held on Monday, May 19 was a graphic checklist of items for Hawley households to have in their "kits" in case of a power emergency, bad weather or an evacuation occurred.  Issued by FEMA, this ckecklist can be downloaded HERE [1.1 MB file].         

Hawley's New Window on the World
HAWLEY INAUGURATES BROADBAND INTERNET AT TOWN OFFICE -- After years of discussion and months of committee work, the Hawley Selectboard is proud to announce the availability of Broadband Internet at the Town Office.  It is called "Broadband" rather than "High-Speed" Internet because, at (click for more)
PIGLET VIRUS RISK UPGRADED -- REPORTING NOW REQUIRED -- An Updated Special Report from Hawley's Inspector of Animals.  Click HERE.