Information Night:  Solar Energy for Your Home

The North Quabbin Energy Group and energy committees of New Salem and other towns are co-sponsoring an information night about solar PV for residents' homes at the New Salem Town Hall on June 27 at 6:30 pm.  Jim Barry from the Massachusetts DOER Green Communities program will be presenting, as well as local solar installers.  Refreshments will be served.  The flyer was attached to last week’s New Salem News.  Contact Zara Dowling at zara.dowling@gmail.com with questions about the event or the energy committee.

Old Home Day July 15, 2017

Parade of Flags

From the Old Home Day Committee: Please join our Old Home Day Parade of Flags.  The theme for New Salem’s 2017 Old Home Day (July 15) is “Everybody’s Welcome!”  We’re inviting everyone to bring a flag that represents their family’s origin, or a country that they feel connected to, and march in our festive Parade of World Flags.  You’re also encouraged to dress in native outfits from your country, and put together a float if you would like to. If you don’t want to march, but you have a flag that someone else can carry in the parade, please call Janet Henderson, 978-413-3546 or email Judith Northup-Bennett,  connectionswork4u@hotmail.com  We’d love to add your flag to our growing collections of flags.

Help Wrap Up Old Home Day

In search of a few good friends to organize an evening Pizza Party for the town on Old Home Day, July 15.

It’s a perfect job for a few friends who enjoy working together to put on an event for the town.  And, if you do it, you get to decide what it is!  Contact Janet Henderson,  978-413-3546, or Judy Bennett, connectionswork4u@hotmail.com .

Old Home Day Photos Needed

We're looking for publicity photos of past Old Home Days to use to promote this year's events.  Please send me photos you have of people having fun at Old Home Day.  Thanks,  Judy Northup-Bennett,connectionswork4u@hotmail.com

Call for Old Home Day Vendors

Promote your business or organization with a booth at New Salem’s Old Home Day on Saturday, July 15.  People love to browse the Vendor Booth’s in the shade on the Town Common while spending an old-fashioned summer day filled with:  music: traditional activities like the cross-cut saw competition and Cake Walk; children’s activities; local food; pony rides; parade; and much more.  People return year after year to this classic New England summer festival.  This year’s expanded promotional campaign promises an even bigger attendance. The booth fee is $10…free if you’re a non-profit organization.  For more details please contact, Polly Johnston, at quabbinpdj@gmail.com or call 978-544-3347

Old Home Day: Calling All Bakers  

The New Salem Old Home Day Cake Walk is Saturday, July 15, at 1 p.m. in the Stowell Building next to the Old Town Hall.  Bakers compete for a $50 gift certificate to the Orange Food Cooperative, Quabbin Harvest, by making two identical cakes.  Cake lovers pay $5 to sample a piece of each cake, vote for their favorite cakes, and get a chance to take home a cake through the cake raffle.  “Bakers really go all out for this competition with cakes that range from rich chocolate with peanut butter frosting to lemon cakes with fresh fruit.  I’m inviting people to share their favorite cake recipes with us,” said Sunday LeFevre, who is organizing this year’s Cake Walk.  “Our Old Home Day’s theme this year is ‘Everybody’s Welcome!’ focusing on the many cultural roots of our New Salem residents. I hope people will share some of their favorite family recipes that have been handed down generation to generation.”  If you can share your favorite cake with New Salem’s Old Home Day this year, please contact Sunday Lefebvre at 978-575-0118 or sunday.and.leon@gmail.com for all the details.

Kick off Old Home Day with a Historical Walk to Puppyville

Start off your Old Home Day (July 15) early with a Pancake Breakfast (7 to 10 a.m.) at the Fire Station, and walk it off with a Historical Quabbin Walking Tour (9 to 10:30 a.m.) to Puppyville.  Quabbin historian Don Flye, who grew up in Puppyville, and Bruce Spencer will be your guides through today’s Quabbin reservoir land back in time to New Salem’s Puppyville neighborhood that was lost when the Quabbin was built.  Meet at 9 a.m. at the Old Town Hall, prepared to carpool to Gate 22.  It will be an easy one and a half hour walk. 

Old Home Day Flyer 2017

To reach the New Salem News

The New Salem News normally goes out early Saturday morning, including all news received that week.  To send an announcement or to subscribe, use this email address,  newsalemnews@gmail.com. Please include contact information that will be included in an announcement. It’s very helpful if you send your announcement in the body of the email or as a link instead of an attachment. For more information about New Salem, see the town website, http://www.newsalem-massachusetts.org/ Thanks!

Broadband Update March 2017

The New Salem Broadband Committee's mission is to bring high speed future-proof fiber Internet access to New Salem in the most cost effective, equitable, minimum risk, high quality and expedient manner possible.


At the end of January the State received proposals from a number of businesses interested in providing Internet services for towns in western Massachusetts. Proposals from Charter Communications* and Crocker Communications included our town but they did not meet our requirements. Fortunately, a proposal from Westfield Gas and Electric Municipal Light Plant to design and build a fiber-to-the-home regional network which would be town-owned and operated under the management of WiredWest did meet all of our criteria.


 *Charter’s offer to New Salem is contingent upon acceptance by all other towns it proposed to serve which appears extremely unlikely at this point since at least one other town has already declined.


Charter’s offer was not acceptable because:

·               - They do not plan to cover the entire town and we would not know which part(s) of town would not be built out until well into the project.

·                - Charter provide a fiber/coax Hybrid build (Cable) which is not the best available link to the Internet.

·                 - No redundancy would be in the build. We would be on a one cable run from Orange to Shutesbury. If a storm/accident damages anywhere along that line there is no other route to switch over to while repairs are done.

·                  - We would have to negotiate a Cable Licensing Agreement with Charter which would mean legal expenses and an additional delay in the build.

·                  - Charter would own the network; we would have no control of costs or guarantee of network neutrality.


Crocker Communication’s offer was unacceptable because:

·                   - Proposed town coverage was very low and not guaranteed.

·                    - Subscribers would be required to take out personal loans to subsidize the construction of the network which Crocker would own.


In February, after reviewing all options, the Select Board sent three resolutions to Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) letting them know that:

1. The Town of New Salem found the proposals from Charter Communications and Crocker Communications did not meet our town’s minimum requirements for broadband service,

2. The Town of New Salem prefers to build a municipally owned ‘fiber to the premises’ broadband network and we support the WiredWest Regional Broadband Solution to manage and operate the Town network on a regional basis in conjunction with other towns that subscribe to services offered by WiredWest,

3. The Town of New Salem is interested in working with Westfield Gas & Electric MLP (WG&E), with WiredWest, to provide Design and Engineering services and construction Project Management for our town-owned network.


The Select Board requested that MBI release the funds for this work as soon as possible.


At the end of February the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) announced that towns who wish to move forward on their own will get their full professional services allocation. This means that New Salem has access to its original portion of the State funding, a total of $750,000, to move the broadband project forward.


Thanks to all members of the Select Board and Broadband Committee who have worked so hard with our legislators, the governor’s office, the MBI, and town leadership across the state to bring about this positive change.


Further updates will be forthcoming as the project progresses. If you have questions in the meantime please contact us at Broadband@newsalem-massachusetts.org.


The New Salem Broadband Committee

Notice from the Animal Control Officer

Please do not drop animals off at the Animal Control Officer’s residence. Please call 978 544-7530 and I or a substitute will happily pick it up. There are many new protocols that must be followed.  I came home last week and there was a dog in a crate at my home with no information - no one had called ahead and there was no note. It is necessary to know who is dropping off said animals in case more information is needed. If animals are dropped off without calling ahead, I will have to change the area of the kennel and add video security. Thank you for understanding. I/we do act on all calls received.

On another note - please do not feed wildlife! There are tons of bear issues (they like bird feeders and trash). It is illegal to trap and move wildlife to a different location (even for us). If there is a problem with nuisance wildlife, please call the Massachusetts Environmental Police. Thank you, Gail Spring, New Salem Animal Control Officer.”
The 7-day, emergency statewide dispatch phone number is 1-800-632-8075.


Board of Health News

Anyone interested in collecting the recyclable cans and bottles from the New Salem Transfer Station should submit a written request and what organization will benefit from it to New Salem Board of Health 19 South Main Street, New Salem Ma. 01355. The cans need to be picked up weekly when the Transfer Station is open and you need to have a valid Transfer Station Permit.


Springfield MRF Advisory Board's 2017 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reclaim! Guide: https://tinyurl.com/RRRN-2017


Money Available for Recreation Activities

The New Salem Recreation Committee has money available to sponsor recreation activities for New Salem residents, in addition to its traditional events. If you would like to organize a recreational activity or event, please contact Karen Duplissie at 544-8614, Jeanne Clayton at 544-7924.

Broadband Stories

Our neighbors (and would-be neighbors) talk about why they need broadband. 

See their stories here.

Town of New Salem

Municipal Offices 


Stowell Building

19 S. Main Street

New Salem, MA 01355


Town Coordinator



Town Hall Annex

24 S. Main Street

New Salem, MA 01355

Town Clerk

Tax Collector



Frequently Used Links                

Meeting and Notice Calendar

Town & Local Events Calendar & News

New Salem Community Garden Facebook Page

Broadband Committee page

How do I contact....?

Transfer Station & Recycling Center Information 

Online Tax Payments

Burn Permits

2015 Annual Report




The Town of New Salem seeks qualified electrician to provide materials and install wiring/fixtures in new town Highway Garage.  All work to be done at Massachusetts Prevailing Wage, and OSHA training is required.  Specifications are available from the Town Coordinator at 978-544-6437 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 am to 4 pm or via email at towncoord@crocker.com.  Responses are due by Wednesday, March 22, 2017 by 4 pm at 19 South Main Street, New Salem, MA 01355. 

Board of Assessors Seek One Replacement

The Board of Assessors is seeking one replacement for the pending retirement of chair, Phyllis Stever, who has served for ten years. It is required that the board have three members, however a board of two members meets the minimum requirement for a quorum. The board meets twice monthly (2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm.) through most of the year and meetings are normally under two hours in length.  There is a stipend for board members. Please call our office at 978-544-5814, if you are a town resident and are interested in joining the board.  Potential candidates would
meet with the current Board and upon their recommendation, be appointed by the Selectboard. When the members term is expired they must be elected. Current members of the Board as of this date are Eric Hamm (Chair), Phyllis Stever and David Briand.

New Salem Agricultural Commission
The Agricultural Commission is developing a listing of speakers to join our winter/spring meetings to discuss issues such as, pollinator development, amending soil, best organic practices.  We would like to invite other gardeners from other community projects, so spread the word! If you are interested in having your soil tested, please contact us, as we now have a connection through UMass. We are seeking public input on specific topics you may want more information about, whether that is through public presentations or research findings. Send an email to sspiewak20@yahoo.com, join our meetings, or "like" our New Salem Community Garden page at (https://www.facebook.com/Newsalemcommunitygarden2014?ref=bookmarks) on Facebook.


Personnel Committee
Due to a recent resignation, the Personnel Committee is looking for a new member. Contact Nancy Aldrich at 978-544-6437 if you are interested.


Energy Committee
The New Salem Energy Committee is on a hiatus as only two members remain. They are now working with Wendell on grants for energy upgrades at Swift River School. The Town of Wendell has suggested working with New Salem on “Solarize Mass” which provides group rates on multiple solar installations. Please contact Nancy Aldrich at 978-544-6437 if you are interested in working with the Energy Committee.

Representative Needed for Franklin County Technical School District Committee
The Town of New Salem is looking for someone to represent the Town on the Franklin County Technical School District Committee.  If you are interested in serving your town in this capacity, please call the Town Moderator, Calvin Layton at 978-544-7892 or e-mail him at calvin.layton@gmail.com.

Recycling Information

The Franklin County Solid Waste District has made available information on recycling options in the county. Please see attached flyers.

Recycling in Franklin County Flyer

Why Recycle Flyer

New Electronic Waste Collection Program

The Solid Waste District has partnered with MRM and Electronic Recyclers to offer towns a new electronic waste program.  New Salem has an agreement with the Wendell Transfer Station allowing us to bring TVs to their landfill for a fee depending on the size of the TV. However, Wendell can NOT charge you for the following brands of electronics, so you can dispose of them FREE!  Mitsubishi,  Panasonic, Quasar, Sharp, Toshiba, Technics, and Vizio.