◊ Will Cosby reported that the new heat pump installation is now done at the Town Office. The unit is reportedly giving off “steady heat” and is much quieter than the old one.
◊ Next project is the replacement of Town Office lights with LED technology. Initial work will be accomplished by VocEd students — work to begin March 9.
◊ Will is also investigating a wood chip furnace system for the Town Garage.
◊ Highway Superintendent Gary Mitchell reported that the Town is at 85% of the Snow Roads Budget.
◊ Gary has published some interesting facts and observations about highways, sand, salt, snow, roads, plowing safety and plowing in general. View a copy HERE.
♦ BROADBAND: The meeting between the Town of Hawley Selectboard, the Communications Committee and MBI’s Peter Larkin and Cornell Robinson seemed to go well. With some caveats regarding further due diligence, the Town was given the go-ahead to negotiate with the vendor of its own choosing from among the three — Crocker, Westfield Gas/Electric and WiValley — who have submitted Broadband proposals encompassing the Town.
♦ CEMETERIES: After one minor revision, the regulations for Town-owned cemeteries are now complete, having passed muster with both the Selectboard and the Hawley Historical Commission. Downloadable copies are available for the RULES and PROCEDURES. For more information on burials and Town cemeteries, go to BURIAL AGENT.
♦ EFFICIENT HEATING/COOLING: Installation of the new heating and cooling system at the Town Office is nearly complete. You may have to look twice to find it, as the two units installed inside the building are high and unobtrusive. There’s also a compressor unit outside, just behind the end of the wheelchair ramp. While this unit is a little more visible, its “works” will soon be obscured by a protective lattice.
♦ SCHOOL ASSESSMENTS: Hussain Hamdan reported that Hawley’s assessments for Hawlemont and Mohawk Regional schools should be a combined approximation of $10,000 less than last year. This is assuming that current State estimates hold up.
Disclaimer (hover before clicking).
HVAC CONTRACTOR GATES PLUMBING, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and GeoThermal Systems will begin installing the Hawley Town Office’s new “Mini Split Heat Pump System” — a type of energy-efficient heat pump technology that uses air as its energy source for warmth in the winter and also for cooling in the summer — on Monday, February 5. This project, which is fully funded under the auspices of the Massachusetts Green Communities program, should be complete by the end of next week.
According to Administrative Assistant Cass Nawrocki, “The largest impact of the work is likely to be some disruption to the heating situation, mainly because of workers coming and going through the doors, and a brief time without power when the final electric hookup is completed. Our existing propane heater will continue to chug away as needed. There are no expected changes to staff hours.”
♦ Town Office Window Replacements: Bids are still under consideration. Final decision will be made at the next Selectboard Meeting (February 6).
♦ Electricity Aggregation Proposal: The Selectboard met with Bob Dean, Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) regarding an Electricity Aggregation project. After hearing his presentation, the Board voted to continue the investigation, appointing Will Cosby as Representative and Bob Root as Alternate for purposes of participating in meetings and reporting back to the Town.
♦ Animal Control Officer: Chris Tirone was reappointed to this position.
♦ Veterans Tax Options: Two options for Veterans were discussed and tabled.
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AT THE HAWLEY SELECTBOARD MEETING that followed the Special Town Meeting on December 12, project team member Will Cosby gave an update on several energy upgrade projects that are underway, or being contemplated, under the auspices of the state’s Green Communities program:
||The Solar Panel Installation at the Town garage is up, running, and producing at full power. However, one of the data sending units is not functioning properly, and will be replaced this week or shortly after Christmas. This sending unit is critical to the Town’s ability to receive cash reimbursements for energy production from the state. The unit in question is still under warranty.
||The bidding process for the Mini Split Heat Pump System to augment the existing blower at the Town office is complete. The “mini-split” is a type of heat pump technology which uses air as its energy source for warmth in the winter and also for cooling in the summer. Approval has been received, and the unit should be installed and operational by the end of February, latest. Continue reading
AFTER ALMOST FIVE YEARS of meetings, phone calls, interactions with MBI and thousands of email messages, the Hawley Communications Committee has finally received a proposal for Broadband that seems to meet all requirements. It is not likely to cost the Town any taxpayer money.
This proposal is from WiValley, a Keene, NH-based Internet network builder and services provider which has significant experience in designing, implementing and operating fiber, wireless and hybrid fiber-wireless Internet systems in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.
The proposal would involve a multi-town network. Four towns — Hawley, Savoy, Florida and Monroe — were all included in the proposal group. In addition, the Towns of Middlefield and Worthington would be joined in a similar network.
Here are some features that made the proposal interesting to the Committee: Continue reading
The Hawley Selectboard has set Tuesday, December 12 as the date for a Special Town Meeting to discuss and vote on two matters — one of which is fairly routine and another that could have far-reaching consequences for the Town. The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm.
The first, rather routine, matter, which appears on the Special Town Meeting Warrant as Article 2, involves transfer of $10,000 from the “. . . Highway Department Stabilization Fund, or other available fund, for the purchase of a [snow] plow.”
The second matter, Article 1, involves the enactment of a Moratorium on local actions regarding recreational marijuana cultivation, production and retail sales until such time as the Town has an opportunity to study the matter and enact local bylaws and regulations. Continue reading
CITING THE TENDENCY OF SOME FIRE extinguishers with plastic handles to get clogged over time, Kidde division of United Technologies has issued a recall and replacement program for 134 fire extinguisher models.
The announcement was the subject of a memo issued to Fire Service professionals on November 2.
The fire extinguishers were sold between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017. Hawley residents who have fire extinguishers with plastic or push-button “Pindicator” handles would be well-advised to check the downloadable MEMO to determine if they are affected by the recall and replacement program. Contact information is included in that document.
THE HAWLEY SELECTBOARD HAS SENT a Letter of Support to Jan Sullivan, Acting Director of the State Bureau of Environmental Health, asking for revisions to the State Housing Code.
The aim of the revisions is to give local Towns more jurisdictional initiative in allowing for non-traditional structures and materials which meet the “. . . spirit of and intent of the Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation,” even though no provisions have yet been made for them in the building codes.
As the Selectboard letter states, “This choice brings within reach . . . critical benefits to our rural homeowners such as the ability to age-in-place by downsizing and living off the grid.”
The proposed code revisions were put together by Glen Ayers, FRCOG Public Health Agent, who developed them in conjunction with the Town of Wendell Board of Health.
Download the entire Selectboard Letter of Support HERE.
Remember all the noise that attends meetings in the Town Office in the winter? That is about to change, as the Town embraces new heat pump technology for the century-old structure.
Working with FRCOG and funded under the auspices of the state-wide Green Communities program, the Town has issued a formal request for price quotes for a “Mini Split Heat Pump System,” a type of heat pump technology which uses air as its energy source for warmth in the winter and also for cooling in the summer. The system promises to be more efficient than the current propane based heating system, and much, much quieter.
According to a recent Selectboard meeting report by Will Cosby, FRCOG has helped Hawley prepare a 32-page price quote document which is now available to HVAC contractors, who will have until November 21 to do their investigations and submit quotes for the project. A copy of the bid document is available for download HERE.