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.
 
⇔ Free Flu Shots for Seniors on October 14 ⇔
HAWLEY, CHARLEMONT COA's, FRCOG PUBLIC HEALTH UNIT TO CO-SPONSOR FLU SHOT CLINIC FOR SENIORS -- The Charlemont Federated Church will be the scene of a two-hour clinic where Hawley and Charlemont residents 60 years and older can receive free flu shots.  The clinic will take place from 9:30 - 11:30 am on Tuesday, October 14.  It will be manned by Franklin County Public Health Service (FCPHS) Nurse Lisa White, BS, RN,  and volunteers from the Councils on Aging (COA's) of both towns.
 
From the Executive Director of FCSWD . . .

NEW PROGRAM:  BULK AG PLASTIC COLLECTION SCHEDULED FOR TWO SITES

I'm pleased to announce that the Solid Waste District is hosting two collections for agricultural plastic in October at the Greenfield Transfer Station.  The District has worked closely with the Greenfield DPW to set up storage trailers for ag plastic.  The ATTACHED FLYER provides information on the two Monday collections on 10/6 and 10/20.  This is an effort to clear out piles of plastic that is stored in barns and on farms.  I anticipate that by the end of the year there will be four permanent collection sites for ag plastic at the Charlemont/Shelburne Transfer Station, Deerfield Transfer Station, Greenfield Transfer Station, and Wendell Transfer Station.  Any farmer in Franklin County can access those drop-off sites at no cost. This is possible through a Community Innovation Challenge Grant from the state.  More information about those sites will be released at a later date.
 
Please note that our system now (versus last year) is to bale all of the plastic.  This means that it needs to be relatively clean, dry, and in pieces that will flow into the baler at the Greenfield Transfer Station.  More cumbersome but necessary for baling is that pieces of drip tape and maple tubing are no longer than 4'.  This is to allow the tubing to flow freely up the conveyor belt and drop into the baling area without jamming.  Please be aware that the District and the Greenfield DPW must take precautions to avoid jams or mechanical issues with Greenfield's baler.  If it doesn't work to bale these materials then there is no more recycling program. 
 
The new recycling market also requires that taps and connectors are cut off maple tubing.  I appreciate the challenge this creates but the taps/connectors are a type of plastic that is not compatible with the manufacturing process.
 
It's been a slow process to get to this point and I appreciate your patience as I get all of the pieces in place to make this a successful and sustainable program.
 
Sincerely,
Jan Ameen, Executive Director
Franklin County Solid Waste District
772-2438

HAWLEY ASSESSORS, SELECTBOARD, STATE LEGISLATORS MEET TO DISCUSS LEGISLATIVE ALTERNATIVES -- The Town of Hawley Board of Assessors, Selectboard,  representatives of the broader assessment community, two attorneys and two conservation groups met with State Representative Paul Mark and Senator Ben Downing for two hours on Tuesday, September 16 to discuss legislative alternatives in light of the recent Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruling in the case of theTown of Hawley versus the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF).

Sponsored by the Hawley Assessors, the purpose of the meeting was to consider specific proposals designed to alleviate the revenue challenges created as a consequence of the large percentage of land in towns like Hawley that is under one kind of tax restriction or another.

What emerged during the meeting was a much broader discussion of the issues, beginning with some of the specifics of the SJC-NEFF case, and then moving on to reports of the impact of similar actions on other towns.

While Sen. Downing and Rep. Mark began the meeting primarily in a listening role, they became active participants by the meeting's mid-point, offering suggestions and strategies, and serving as bellweathers for the types of legislation would be politically feasible.  The proposals prepared for presentation at the meeting were never specifically discussed, but were distributed to the legislators to be a part of their follow-up deliberations. 

As the meeting came to a close, the legislators indicated they would research the issues further, and then get back to the Assessors with a recommended set of next steps.  For press coverage of this meeting, go HERE

TOWN EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE CHANGING -- 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 three email addresses have been changed effective immedately:

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

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.

Here are the email addresses for our two, newly-appointed Town Officers:

Name Function(s) Email Address
Kristi (Kris) Nartowicz ♦ Treasurer treasurer@townofhawley.com
Elizabeth (Betty) Nichols ♦ Tax Collector collector@townofhawley.com

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

BYLAW FOR LARGE-SCALE SOLAR INSTALLATIONS IS NEARING FINAL DRAFT: YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED -- The Planning Board of the Town of Hawley is STILL 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.  If you have already contributed feedback, check out the results here. 

Please review the draft of the proposed by-law for large-scale solar installations by following the links to the three documents below --

-- and send your feedback to --

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 LATE-SUMMER CLEANUP EVENTS -- The Franklin County Solid Waste Management District IS reminding area residents about fall cleanup events.

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 OR . . . CURRENT PRESS RELEASE.

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.

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.