Special Town Meeting Report . . .

THE SPECIAL TOWN MEETING PASSED ALL WARRANT articles unanimously Monday night, May 21 as the Town of Hawley took another step toward the goal of providing its residents with high-speed Internet using funds from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). 

The proceedings were a tad awkward, in that each of the three warrant articles had to be voted twice: first, to accommodate last-minute amendments; and, second, to enact the warrant  items as amended. Yet the entire process was speedy and efficient, taking less than 30 minutes.

The purpose of the warrant was to authorize the Hawley Selectboard to borrow and/or transfer funds to provide interim payments to the successful vendor until such time as the Town can receive reimbursement from the Commonwealth.

The objective of the amendments to the warrant was the same in all three cases — to “loosen” the language to account for the possibility of alternative vendors, and to provide for the prospect that an agency other than MBI might be the ultimate funding source.

The revised warrant, as enacted by the Special Town Meeting, can be viewed HERE.

Town Meeting Efficient, Bump-Free . . .

THE HAWLEY TOWN MEETING RAN SMOOTHLY Monday night, May 14, as all warrants presented for consideration were either adopted or passed over by unanimous vote.

Items adopted by the group of 30-plus voters present included:

Town Reports (Article 1);
School District items (Articles 16 through 20);
Budget Appropriations (Articles 2-10, 12-14); and,
Veterans Fund provisions (Article 15).

Items passed over at the meeting included:
Vocational Tuition and Transportation (Article 11)
Integration of Mohawk District 6th Grade students into Mohawk
Middle School (Article 21).

A .pdf copy of the 2018 Hawley Town Meeting Warrant can be downloaded HERE. [159 kb].

Hawley Town Election Results . . .

This is the Town Election vote tally, as of 9:00 pm May 7, 2018. The total number of Hawleyites voting was 63, or 23% of the Town’s registered voters:

Congratulations to all!

Election Factoid . . .

ACCORDING TO TOWN CLERK PAMELA Shrimpton, Diane Broncaccio, Reporter for the Greenfield Recorder, said that Hawley’s 23% voter turnout was the highest of any of the W. Mass. towns that conducted elections on Monday, May 7.

Want Your WiredWest Refund? Here’s How . . .

TWO TO FOUR YEARS AGO, A NUMBER OF HAWLEY Residents sent $4900 deposits to WiredWest as a gesture of support for the system they were proposing to build. This was before it became clear that Hawley would be going another way.

If you want your WiredWest deposit back, click HERE for info on how to get it.

Broadband Briefing Well-Attended Despite Fog . . .

EVEN WITH A PERSISTENT, DENSE FOG settling in over the hilltown highlands, over fifty people attended the Community Broadband Briefing Session held at the Hawlemont School Cafeteria on Thursday night, March 29.  The meeting, which was sponsored by the Hawley Communications Committee with support from the Hawley and Savoy Selectboards, was devoted to a presentation of the regional broadband proposal put forth by WiValley, a Keene, NH – based network builder and internet services provider.

Pictured here are some of the 50+ people who attended the March 29 briefing session. Brian Foucher, President of WiValley, is presenting.

Those in attendance included residents and officials from the towns of Savoy, Hawley, Monroe, Charlemont, Middlefield  and Florida.

For more information on the WiValley proposal, click HERE.
To request materials from the March 29 meeting, click HERE.

But For the Want of a Snow-Melt . . .

THURSDAY, MARCH 22 WAS A DAY OF interesting coincidences and not so cooperative weather non-events as Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito visited the Hawley Town Garage. The purpose of her visit was to inspect the work done to stabilize the Chickley River bank behind the garage that was performed under a Mass Works grant in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

As can be seen in the picture just below, the snow melt didn’t cooperate, so there was very little for the Lieutenant Governor to inspect:

Pictured are Ms. Polito’s State Police Escort,  Highway Sup’t Gary Mitchell, and Rep. Paul Mark’s aide.

Coincidentally, however, work was also underway on a project to replace Town Garage lighting with more efficient LED technology. This task is being performed by a group of students from Continue reading

More Fire Safety Recalls . . .

FIRE SAFETY DEVICE MANUFACTURER KIDDE division of United Technologies has announced a recall to replace two of its Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms. This announcement was made March 21 in a joint statement by Kidde and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

The two units in question are Models PI2010 and PI9010. While both of these units have all their components in place, a yellow “cap”
that should have been removed during the manufacturing process was left in place in some of them, rendering them ineffective.

Consumers are asked to inspect any such units installed in their homes or places of business to determine whether they can see a yellow cap inside. If so, they should call Kidde at (833) 551-773 for further instructions.  Under no circumstances should they detach the units until they receive a free replacement from Kidde. Follow this LINK for detailed instructions, and click HERE for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Fire Services safety advisory.

This is the second time in six months that Kidde has issued recalls of fire safety products.

Broadband: WiValley is a “Go” . . .

AT ITS FEBRUARY 20 MEETING, the Hawley Selectboard provisionally approved a motion to name WiValley of Keene, NH as “vendor of choice” for Broadband implementation in Hawley. The recommendation was unanimously voted by the Hawley Communications Committee on February 14, and then again by the Selectboard on February 20.

WiValley would implement its proposal using Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) flexible grant program monies, only — in Hawley’s case, $520,000 — with no need for long-term borrowing and zero impact on taxes.

This approval is “provisional” because more due diligence needs to be done via reference checks and other means before the selection is final. However, WiValley, working in conjunction with network design firm Interisle Consulting Group of Boston, has put forward the only proposal that meets all of the criteria established by the Communications Committee.
Continue reading

Selectboard Newsbits – February 20 Meeting . . .


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.