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.

Multiple Successes . . .

HAWLEMONT SCHOOL HAS A LOT TO CHEER ABOUT as it reviews its 2016-17 season. In a recent flier sent to Hawley residents, the elementary school’s Principal Wayne Kemenski cited a list of achievements that were not only notable in themselves but also significant on a regional, state or national basis. Here are some items from his list:

Two fifth graders have been invited to the Junior National Young Leader’s Conference.
The fifth grade won first place in the state’s Green Team Project.
30 students from the surrounding towns decided to join the Hawlemont community, resulting a 10-year high in enrollment.
Kindergarten teacher Sue Mead won the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award.

The school is also planning two events that are sure to be of interest to students, teachers and community members alike. On Saturday, April 29, Hawlemont will be hosting its 2nd annual H.A.Y. Conference, featuring compelling hands-on workshops for people of all ages. And on Friday, May 19, it will present its 3rd annual All School Celebration, with exhibits, games, tours, crafts and dinner. For more of the particulars . . .

Download these items here: Letter to the Community
H-A-Y Conference Brochure (large file)
Hawlemont Celebration Flier

Green Community Options Aired . . .

HAVING QUALIFIED FOR GREEN COMMUNITIES FUNDING, the Town is now considering ways it can use those monies (up to $136,920) to help the Town conserve energy.  According to Lloyd Crawford, who has taken the lead on the funding application process, while several options are possible, three projects seem most practical and doable in the near future.  They are:

Adding insulation and improving seals on both the Town Office and the Highway Department garage; 
Upgrading the lighting to a higher effciency level in Town facilities; and,
Installing a solar power facility.

This third item — solar, or photovoltaic (PV) power, has some urgency.  Continue reading

FLT Sponsors Bike Ride, Small Grant Program . . .

THE FRANKLIN LAND TRUST (FLT) WILL BE SPONSORING its twelfth annual self-guided recreational bike ride – D2R2 – which is scheduled this year on Saturday, August 19, 2017.

At the same time, FLT has decided to make small grants available to community groups in towns situated along the bike ride routes (as is Hawley) to fund projects which support the environment, land conservation, farming, forestry, wildlife, outdoor recreation or environmental education.  Deadline for grant applications is May 15, and the grant amounts are for $500 or less.

Click HERE for more particulars or contact Town Administrative Assistant Cass Nowrocki @ 413-339-5518 or info@townofhawley.com.