Bulletins . . .

Hawley Planning Board Protective Bylaws Listening Session — Town Office, TONIGHT, May 26 – 7:30 pm . Click for DETAILS. events-calendar-icon150

The “MBI-Pause” — Is It Over? . . .

IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE GOVERNOR’S ANNOUNCEMENT of a change in posture by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) for its Last Mile program, things seem to be moving in a positive — and more vigorous — direction.

Here’s a synopsis of what has taken place in the past 30 days:

On Wednesday, April 27, the Hawley Selectboard sent a letter to Governor Baker stating that Hawley:

  • would be pursuing a wireless option;
  • had decided “. . . not to pursue a fiber alternative due to excessive cost”; and that,
  • “. . . it is difficult to proceed until we have some clarity from the State regarding the future of the Massachusetts Broadband program and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI), both as a whole and as these  apply to Hawley.”


Hawley’s letter to the Governor went on to say that “. . . we urge the State to do everything possible to expedite the process of making already promised funding available, especially to those towns who are ready to commit to a direction that has been approved by MBI. Additionally, we are concerned regarding the impact that the Broadband Wireless Access Study (BWA) may have on existing schedules and plans.  We request reassurance of and action toward the State’s continued financial commitment.” [The text of this letter can be reviewed
HERE.]

On Tuesday, May 10, Governor Baker met with a group of Broadband representatives from Western Massachusetts and  Continue reading

Combined Cultural Council Seeks Input . . .

AS THEY PREPARE FOR THEIR NEXT GRANT-GIVING SEASON, the members of the Charlemont/Hawley Cultural Council are requesting feedback from the the greater Hawley-Charlemont community. Their questions include:

  1. Would you change anything in our guidelines (we emphasize funding local organizations/events and educational projects)?
  2. Are there any artists and/or groups you would like us to know about?
  3. Would you like us to organize any special events in the community?
  4. What are YOUR favoriite cultural events in our AREA?
  5. And then there’s the final question. Would you like to attend the reception the Council is planning for grant recipients?
     

CC-the-artsWant an easy way to answer? Simply CLICK ON THIS LINK and a specially-formatted email box will open up. It contains all of the questions and spaces for your answers. When you’re done answering, send it like any other email message.

Doane Cemetery Cleanup a Success . . .

FROM: MELANIE POUDRIER
To:
Hawley Website Visitors
Subject: Doane Cemetery Clean-Up

Thank you to all who helped with the Doane Cemetery clean-up on April 30. Check it out. It looks spectacular!!.

Rich Cook and Sarah Ohmann
Greg and Ben Cox and Sue Draves
Georgette Defriesse
Cinni Donovan (also for coffee and muffins)
Dick and Mary Gelinas
Jane Grant

Paul Lacinski and Amy Klippenstein of Side Hill Farm (also for water and yogurt)
Rick Kean and Anne Hamilton-Kean
Jerry McCarthy
Ray and Melanie Poudrier
Lark Thwing
John Sears

And thanks to Serra Root for providing bottled water for the tired and thirsty.
Here Are Some Photo’s (Click to Enlarge)
IMG0334SM IMG0335SM IMG0343SM IMG0344SM

New Warrant Format Works Well . . .

VOTERS AT MONDAY’S ANNUAL TOWN MEETING (May 9) took Hawley’s new budget format in stride as they completed the actions required of them on 22 warrant items in just over two hours. Unlike previous years, when budget line items were presented separately, this time around the entire budget was handled as a single warrant item.

This did not mean that the budget had to be voted on as one lump sum. Voters were still free to “drill down” and consider each line item individually, and, under the direction of Acting Moderator Scott Purinton, did so often as the evening progressed.  Even so, there were very few questions from the floor about the format or how the budget pieces fit together.


(Note: this image was created by combining three different sections of the warrant document.)
Annual Town Meeting Warrant – 2016 [.pdf file]

During the course of the meeting, a few minor changes were made to the Town budget for FY ’17.  Download the final version here:

T-o-H2017Budget-Final.pdf

Hawley Town Nurse . . .

WALK-IN CLINIC SCHEDULED FOR JUNE — Regional nurse-haPublic Health Nurse Lisa White, RN, BS, has scheduled the next walk-in clinic at Charlemont Federated Church for June 14 from 10:30 am until noon.  Services provided will include:

♦ Help with Self-Management of Medication / Health Issues
♦ Blood Pressure Screening
♦ Blood Glucose Screening
♦ Health Information
♦ Needle/Sharps disposal
♦ Mercury Thermometer disposal

These services are contracted on behalf of Hawley residents by the Hawley Board of Health, and are provided by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments.

Download a flier HERE.

New Development in Broadband . . .

MBI TO EXPLORE FIXED WIRELESS AS A GENERAL OPTION MBI Director of Technology Dave Charbonneau surprised at least pole-n-signalsome of the participants at the Hybrid-Wireless Working Group at the Hawley Town Office on Thursday evening, April 7 when he outlined plans to evaluate a number of wireless options as he works to get Broadband implementation “moving forward” in Western Massachusetts.

The Hybrid-Wireless Working Group (HWWG) is an ad hoc assemblage of representatives of Towns in Western MA which, like Hawley, have been exploring wireless Broadband because they Continue reading

Selectboard Seeks Halt to DCR Land Purchase . . .

IN A LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR penned by Fire Chief Greg Coxflaming-letter and signed by the Hawley Selectboard, the Town has criticized the pending purchase of privately-owed woodlands in the Dubuque State Forest by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) as an example of “backward” priorities. “Rather than buying . . . land it cannot afford to maintain, the state should concentrate on caring for the land it already owns,” the letter states.

The letter goes on. While Hawley has a long history of supporting conservation, our residents have become increasingly unhappy with the state continuing to buy land due to concerns about the loss of Continue reading

Interesting Aside . . .

The Selectboard Letter to Governor Baker (ABOVE) was straighforward in terms of the Board’s overall priorities:

Hawley’s most pressing concern is finding a way to get high speed (broadband) Internet in Hawley at a price the town and residents can afford.  Restoring Middle Road, while not unimportant, only affects some residents, while the lack of Internet or cell phone service affects residents and visitors alike.

Amnesty for Commonwealth Tax Penalties . . .

WHILE IT DOES NOT AFFECT LOCAL TOWN TAXES, the2016TaxAmnestyPoster1 Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) has put a tax amnesty program in place for the months of April and May that encompasses a number of other types of Mass. tax revenues.  These could be relevant to individuals or business owners who want to get out from under late fees and interest charges on unpaid back taxes, in these categories:

Business Taxes — 33 types (access full list HERE); and,
Personal Taxes — 5 types, including Estate Tax, Fiduciary Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Personal Use Tax and Cigarette Excise for Individuals.

For more information about this amnesty program, including various forms and how to apply, click HERE.