Category Archives: Hawley News

A Well-Attended Dedication . . .

About 40 Hawley residents were on hand Sunday afternoon,  August 13 to witness the ribbon cutting of the joint Town of Hawley – Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)  project to repair and maintain Hunt and Middle Roads.

While much of the focus of the project is on restoring these roads in the Dubuque State Forest, it would also have the effect of rejoining East and West Hawley, without the need to travel through Charlemont or Plainfield, for a number of months every year.

Attending dignitaries included former Selectboard Chair John Sears, current Selectboard Chair Hussain Hamdan, State Representative Paul Mark, State Senator Adam Hinds, DCR Commissioner Leo Roy and several state forestry officials.  Also attending was a representative from Lane Construction, the firm which will be rebuilding the roads. Continue reading

Green Communities PV Project Progresses . . .

THE TOWN’S PLAN TO BUILD a 10 kW photovoltaic (solar electric) system on the roof of the Town Garage is progressing nicely, project coordinators Lloyd Crawford and Will Cosby reported at the August 8 Selectboard meeting.

FRCOG is providing the Town with procurement services, and bid invitations have gone out, with the bid opening date set for Wednesday, August 16 at 2:00 pm.

Once the vendor is selected and the expenditure is approved by the State, it should be a matter of a few months until the system is up and running, Cosby indicated, with a completion date in November or December.

This and other energy conservation projects planned by the Town are being funded via a $136,920 grant from the Massachusetts Green Communities program.

MIT Cycling Team Race Approved . . .

THE HAWLEY SELECTBOARD APPROVED THE USE of Hawley roads for a part of the annual MIT Cycling Team bike race, which will occur on the weekend of September 23 and 24.

Called the “Sliderule Shredfest,” the event will involve riders from MIT, UMASS and other colleges. Activities on Saturday, August 23  will focus on the UMass campus in Amherst, and then the Sunday race will take place at the Thunder Mountain Bike Park in Charlemont and Hawley.

Gun Registration, Renewal Delays . . .

HAWLEY POLICE CHIEF JARED BELLOWS reported at the Tuesday, July 25 Selectboard meeting that a change in state policy regarding firearms licenses is causing unusually long renewal delays. 

As of January 1, the state began refusing to accept anything but electronic applications that are processed using the Massachusetts Instant Record Check System (MIRCS).  This changeover has caused a backlog of renewals, and the fact that Hawley has not been issued a copy of the MIRCS software by the State adds to the problem.

Jared, who also serves as Charlemont’s Chief of Police, advises gun owners to submit early enough to allow plenty of time to process renewals and new applications.  That could be as long as 12 weeks. 

While Jared said that the backlog has been sorted out and renewal cards should be on their way in a couple of weeks, it will still be a while until the system becomes efficient.  Chick HERE for information on how to reach Jared. 

Legal Reminder . . .

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS of the new Massachusetts “Act to Improve Public Records,” Town Clerk Pamela Shrimpton was appointed Records Access Officer (RAO) for the Town of Hawley. Pamela oversees the process by which public records are stored and made available for the Town, as well as aiding people who request information. Administrative Assistant Cass Nawrocki serves as Pamela’s Alternate for the role. 

Pamela’s hours of availability and contact information are the same as for the Town Clerk, and can be found HERE.  Once they are approved by the Selectboard, a formal set of guidelines for the RAO position will be posted in the “Records” section of this website.

Conservation Commission on Woodcutting . . .

Notice to small logging/firewood operations:

The Hawley Conservation Commission has encountered a few cases recently that have involved logging in or near wetlands.  The forest cutting practices act allows landowners to cut up to 25,000 board feet of timber or 50 cords of wood in a given year without needing to submit a cutting plan for approval by DCR.

However, if you are contemplating work in or near wetlands, you might want to file anyway.

An approved cutting plan exempts you from having to file with the Conservation Commission under the wetlands protection act.  You will encounter less fees and fewer restrictions if you have a cutting plan.
For further information, see:

http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/conservation/forestry-and-fire-control/chapter-132-ma-forest-cutting-practices-act.html

It’s Tick Season Again . . .

HAWLEY PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE Lisa White was in contact with the Town Office recently to alert us that Tick Season is here, and to remind us that the best cure for Tick-Borne Diseases is prevention.

With the advent of warmer weather, the ticks are already doing their heinous work.  For some tips on how to identify them and fend off their unwelcome diseases, click HERE.

Almost a New Record . . .

The Town Meeting on May 8 convened at  6:59 pm and adjourned at 7:25, with Moderator Lark Thwing at the helm. While there have been shorter meetings, according to Town Clerk Pamela Shrimpton, it was “almost” a record.  Some tidbits:

  • Budget-related Articles 12 and 13 were passed over, due to the fact that we did not have the “sum” amounts; and,
  • All other votes were unanimous.

Election Winners . . .

Town of Hawley, MA: 5/1/17 Election Results
(Winners are in Bold)
Office Candidate # of Votes
Selectman Robert Root   38
Town Clerk Pam Shrimpton 41
Assessor Rick Kean 40
Hawlemont School Committee Sarah Rich 37
Representative to K-12 Committee for MTRSD Write-In’s:
Hussain Hamden
Suzanne Crawford
Courtney Hoyt
Kim Orczechowsky

2

1
1
1
Moderator Write-In’s:
Lark Thwing
Scott Purinton
Chris Tirone

9

8
1
Auditor Write-In’s:
Carla Clark
Lorraine McCarthy

9

1
Congratulations to the Winners!

Note:  42 voters participated in the May 1 Hawley election.  Write-in winners would have to accept their respective positions.

PV Site Selected . . .

AT THE APRIL 18 SELECTBOARD MEETING, the Board approved a proposal by Will Cosby and Lloyd Crawford to focus on the Highway Department Garage roof as the potential site for a new Town solar power (PV) facility.  This addition would be funded under the provisions of a MA Green Communities grant.  The reasons cited for choosing that particular location included:

♦ Even though it is located in a narrow valley, that site has better total southern exposure to the sun than the others;
♦ The garage roof is an engineered structure that may be better suited to supporting a solar array than some of the others;
♦ The size of the roof may allow for an array that is
large enough to best support the Town’s power needs; and,
♦ There are no future plans to otherwise modify or add to that structure.

Other sites under consideration were the Firehouse and adjacent fields in East Hawley, and the Town Office.

Next steps will be for the Town to put out a bid request prior to submitting a specific proposal to the State.  For more information on the Green Communities program, click HERE.