News

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

GAPS AND GLITCHES AHEAD!The Town of Hawley website is undergoing reconstructionbgreconstruction.  Some time in the next week or so, a major transformation will take place as we change over to a new web host and content management system (CMS).

Well . . . that will almost be a major transformation.  Most of the features of the new website will be the same as the old, but the look and feel will be different, and there will be some new features as well. As important, the website will be searchable, self-archiving, much easier to update and maintain, and more accessible to website users.  All these changes are very useful to a Town with an all-volunteer Communications Committee.

Here's a glimpse of what the new home page will look like:

Once the transition is made, since it involves reconstruction, you can expect some "Gaps and Glitches” for a while. 

AS ALWAYS, your patience is appreciated.

— Town of Hawley Communications Committee

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ROAD WORK -- The Hawley Department of Streets and its various subcontractors will be working on repaving projects on sections of three roads on the west side of Town this late summer and fall.  While the objective is to complete the projects before snow flies, that depends on a number of factors, including weather and availability of materials.

Affected roads include:

♦ Route 8A (11/2 mile section);
♦ Forge Hill Road; and,
♦ West Hill Road.

On Second Thought . . .

cltwr-over-border-red-slashLOCAL WIRELESS INTERNET EXPERIMENT PUT ON HOLD -- After further investigation, the Communications Committee has recommended, and the Selectboard has approved, a cessation of activities related to the construction of wireless Internet towers on the Town Office. 

The reason?  Several small towers rather than one middle-sized one would be needed to accomplish a connection to nine or ten homes, rendering the project marginally feasible and turning the look of the Town Office into that of a "communications shack."

The Committee has decided  to concentrate  its efforts instead on the work of a network cunsulting firm, engaged with money from an MBI planning grant, to develop a more comprehensive approach to Hawley's Internet challenges.

Hawley’s Recall Bylaw Initiative . . .

AS A RESULT OF A RECALL BYLAW PROPOSAL THAT WAS brought to the Annual Hawley Town Meeting, a committee was appointed by the moderator to refine the measure and bring it back to the voters at a future time.  The group has been meeting over the summer months and has reviewed numerous similar bylaws adopted by communities around the Commonwealth.  The revised version that has been drafted by the committee resembles those passed elsewhere but does contain a couple of features unique to Hawley.  After refining the draft based on citizen input, the committee will seek to bring the proposal back for a town meeting vote at some point in the near future.  Once adopted, it must be submitted to the legislature for approval as a home-rule petition.  The process may take up to a year.

The Hawley Recall Bylaw Committee invites the public to comment on this draft bylaw which would allow citizens to initiate, via a petition process, a recall vote for any elected town official.  The draft bylaw is posted online and can be downloaded HERE.  Hard copies may be obtained by those who do not have internet access by contacting the town Administrative Assistant at 413-339-5518 during regular office hours.  A public hearing will be held at 6 PM on Wednesday, September 2 at the Hawley Town Office.  Persons who are unable to attend may submit comments by e-mailing info@townofhawley.com.  Persons may also call Lloyd Crawford 413-339-4265 who will forward any input to the rest of the committee.

MEMA ISSUES POWER OUTAGE SAFETY TIPS -- Stating that "extended loss of power, during and after a hurricane, is a real possibility," the Massachuetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has issued an advisory containing procedures to use as we approach hurricane season.  Included are:

► General Preparation Tips;
► Food and Water Peparation;
► Medical Considerations;
► Travelong During a Power Outage; and,
► Safe Restoration of Power and Recovery.

To download the full advisory, click HERE.

SPECIAL TOWN MEETING SETS NEW SPEED RECORD -- Thursday's Special Town Meeting to enact the administrative details regarding the State's Savoy Road bridge fix completed its entire agenda in just under 30 minutes with unanimous "AYE" votes on all 10 warrant articles.  It would have gone even faster except that some last-minute changes to the warrant language initiated by the State meant that each warrant article had to be read out loud in its entirety before discussion and voting could begin.  As it was, reader Phil Keenan sounded like he could moonlight as one of those announcers who reads the fine print on television ads or as an auctioneer as he sped through the highly-repetitive legal language.

The only discussion was from the abutting property owners, who stood up one by one and stated that they were donating the easements in order to see the bridge repairs go foward.

Participants in the Special Town Meeting, which convened promptly at 7:00 pm, were putting their chairs away a few minutes before 7:30.   

Send a Letter to the Governor . . .

MIDDLE ROAD COMPLETION REQUIRES GROUP ACTION -- Citing unmet promises, half-steps and reversals that go back through two State administrations and a fistful of Alphabet Soup agencies, the Hawley Selectboard has decided to put its collective foot down and exert grassroots political pressure on the problem of fixing Middle Road.

As a result, the Selectboard has launched a letter-writing campaign that hopes to stack Governor Charlie Baker's desk high with reminders of the need to get the job done now.

The last straw completed the State's pattern of procrastination in just the past few months.  According to a Selectboard email broadcast, "After much delay, the project was permitted this spring, but the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which is responsible for the state forest, has not been willing to commit the funds necessary to do the work."

"At the suggestion of Paul Mark, our state representative, the Hawley Select Board sent ... [a] ... letter to Governor Charlie Baker last week. We are asking you to write, e-mail, or call his office as well (letters are best and should be brief and to the point)."

The Selectboard's email broadcast, plus their letter to the Governor, can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

HAWLEY, IT'S TIME WE GOT OUR STATE FOREST BACK.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR NOW!

High Speed Internet Survey Results: Now Online.
  GO HERE

Volunteers Needed for Town Office Spruce-Up . . . 

AS PART OF ITS PUBLIC SERVICE PROGRAM, the Franklin County Sherriff’s Department has offered to repaint the exterior of the Hawley Town Office sometime this summer.  But before they do that, some hale and hearty (or at least willing) Hawleyites need to put in some time getting the old building ready.

According to Selectman Phil Keenan,  most of what needs to be done has to do with replacing clapboards around the base of the building.  “Anyone with basic carpentry skills is welcome,” he said at Tuesday’s (June 2) Selectboard meeting, “but what we need as well is someone who could bring the kinds of tools (chop saws, squares, protractors, chisels, flat bars, “cat’s claw” nail pullers, etc.) that would really make the project zing along.”

Specific times and dates (mainly on weekends) will be worked out once the Town has the opportunity speak with volunteers and see what’s possible.  The consensus at the meeting was that, in order to give the Sherriff’s Department full scheduling flexibility for the rest of the summer, this project should be completed in June.

If you can help, please call Pamela Shrimpton at 413-339-5518 or at home at 413-339-4091 or email her HERE.

PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE ISSUES FOOD-BORNE ILLNESSES ALERT -- Stating that summertime is a special time of risk for illnesses related to food poisoning, FRCOG's Public Health Nurse Lisa White has issued a bulletin containing preventative Do's and Don'ts, symptoms, and threshholds for when medical assistance is needed.  Also included are website links for more information and local contact numbers.  Download that bulletin as a .pdf, HERE.

REMINDER:  TOWN EMAIL ADDRESSES HAVE CHANGED -- Now that the Town's broadband internet connection has been tested and found viable, the Hawley Communications Committee is working on changing all official email addresses over to to the same format as the website.  Email addresses will be issued for all officers using the following format:

. . . . @townofhawley.com.  

The purpose of this change is to tie the addresses to the town domain name instead of to Internet Service Providers (HughesNet, Crocker, CornerStone, etc.), thus giving the Town more flexibility in the future and eliminating duplicate fees.

The following five email addresses have been created and/or changed:

Name Function(s) Email Address
Virginia Gabert ♦ Admin Assistant
♦ Assistant Treasurer
♦ Board of Assessors
♦ General Inquiries
info@townofhawley.com
Pamela Shrimpton ♦ Town Clerk townclerk@townofhawley.com
Stephen Deane ♦ Chief of Police policechief@townofhawley.com

Elizabeth (Betty) Nichols ♦ Treasurer
♦ Tax Collector
treasurer@townofhawley.com
collector@townofhawley.com

When changing these addresses, remember to change them in your mobile devices as well as your computer.  If you are using an email "client" like MS Outlook to handle your mail, remember as well that any lists you have created there may also have to be updated.

If you use the former addresses for these three people/functions after August 31, the messages you send will "bounce back" to you.  To recover, forward your original message (it will be in your "sent messages" folder) to the correct address.

You'll always be able to find the email addresses for the Town on this website.