Town Election Notice
The following town offices are up for election at this year’s annual town election in 2015:
Selectboard 3 year term
Board of Health 3 year term
Assessor 3 year term
Planning Board 5 year term
School Committee 3 year term
School Committee 3 year term
School Committee 1 year term (to fill vacancy)
Library Trustee 3 year term
Library Trustee 1 year term (to fill vacancy)
If you are seeking election, nomination papers are available from this office. The required number of signatures to be an official candidate included on the ballot is 20, however it’s always wise to have a few extras should there be difficulty verifying any signatures.
The important dates for this year’s annual election on Monday, May 4th are:
Last day to register to vote, Tuesday, April 14th.
My office hours are Mondays 6-9 PM and by appointment if necessary.
Please don’t hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions.
FY2015 Real Estate and Personal Property 4th Quarter Tax Bills Due
This is to remind you that FY2015 4th Quarter Real Estate and Personal Property taxes are now due and payable. The due date for these bills is May 1, 2015. Payments received after that date will be charged interest and fees.
NEW It is now possible to look up your bill information online at www.unitaxonline.com whether or not you plan to pay online.
- Enter www.unitaxonline.com in your web browser.
- Select Town of New Salem from the drop down menu on the home screen and click Submit.
- Select bill type under transactions (Motor Vehicle, Personal Property or Real Estate).
- Then click on “Need help locating your bill?” on the transaction screen.
- Fill in the requested information and your bill information will be provided
Alternatively, if you have trouble locating your bill(s)/information and wish to find out the amount due you may call (978) 544-5775 and leave a message stating your name, phone number and the address of your property. The Tax Collector will call you with the amount of your bill(s). You may also email your request for this information to email@example.com.
Non-cash payments may be deposited in the black tax payment drop box located in front of the town hall at 15 S. Main Street or mailed to the Tax Collector’s office at 24 S. Main St., New Salem, MA 01355. Bills may also be paid online at www.unitaxonline.com through the due date. Cash payments may be made during the Tax Collector’s office hours at 24 S. Main Street on Tuesdays 5-7pm and Thursdays 10am-Noon.
Broadband Committee Update
As of April 16th we are 93% of the way to our WiredWest Fiber Campaign minimum sign up goal! Below is some additional information about the project. An important mailing with more details was sent out this week.
A Few Questions and Answers for the New Salem/WiredWest Broadband Project
Why do I need to sign up now?
We need a minimum of 40% of households to sign up to be part of the network.
Towns with the most subscribers are more likely to be built first (with completion as early as 2017) so it is critical to get as many people as possible to sign up now. Our goal is 60% of households.
How will this project be financed?
Towns that are part of the WiredWest network and a $40 million State of Massachusetts grant will fund this project.
How much will my taxes increase?
The tax increase could gradually rise to a maximum of $17 per month (about $204 per year) for an average single family home ($205,439). However, the tax increase could be zero because WiredWest expects to be able to return revenue to the town from monthly subscriptions that could cover all or part of the town’s debt.
Many households will save on telephone, Internet and television bills offsetting any tax increase.
EXAMPLE MONTHLY COST FOR AVERAGE HOME ($205,439):
Average current expenses
Average potential future expenses
Satellite or Mobile Internet
High-speed Fiber Optic Internet
(25 Mbps–NO data cap)
Max. Added Real Estate Tax
For the average household in
this example, we expect:
Savings of $34 per month or over $400 per year.
Visit our websites at www.newsalem-massachusetts.org or www.wiredwest.net for more information.
See the calculator tool to determine how this project affects your household costs.
Why are we using taxpayer dollars for this? Shouldn't a private company cover the costs?
New Salem has relatively few households and low population density.
Rural wiring costs are high and for a for-profit commercial Internet provider the expense has been too high.
Over the last 20 years, various companies have declined requests to deliver broadband Internet to us.
New Salem joined WiredWest because our town has been unable to get reliable and fast Internet access.
I don't use computers or the Internet. Why should I care about broadband?
Even if you don't use the Internet yourself, there are compelling reasons to support the plan:
1. Home value. Many of our residents have already encountered extreme difficulty selling or renting their homes because there are few people who are willing to move to an area that lacks adequate Internet service. When it's time to sell your home, you will get upwards of 20% less for your home if high-speed Internet is not available.[i]
2. Infrastructure for all, now and in the future. The fiber-optic cable and network adds value to the town just as a fine library, school, and municipal services police, fire, and highway add value. Taxpayer support of infrastructure is essential.
3. Sustaining community. If high speed Internet is not available to residents of the town, the town will change. Young people will move away. Workers who want to telecommute will not live here. New Salem will not grow in vitality. This has happened to other towns when broadband is unavailable.
[i] Source: The Guardian [New York] 1 Mar. 2014: "Fast broadband now considered vital by increasing numbers of homebuyers." Online. Estimate confirmed by professional local realtors at Jones Realty, Amherst, Massachusetts.
NEW - Frequently Asked Questions
New Salem Broadband Committee
New Wood Pellet Bag Recycling Program:
This is a pilot program and can only accept pellet bags – no other plastic bag or plastic film product. Bags must be dry and empty. They must be bundled together. There will be twine at the New Salem Transfer Station if needed. It’s very important for participants to follow the guidelines so that all material can be recycled and not rejected by the end market. Residents in New Salem may deliver pellet bags to the Transfer Station during normal operating hours. There is no fee. New Salem residents can bring their bags clean and bundled to the Wendell Transfer Station also. There is no fee there either.News from the Franklin County Waste Management DistrictTransfer Station Bags Winner:
Carol Bright won the package of New Salem Trash Bags for picking up the rubbish on the side of the road. Good work Carol. If you are interested in trying to win the free rubbish bags talk to Bob at the New Salem Transfer Station.
Suggestion Box at Transfer Station: There will be a suggestion box at the New Salem Transfer Station. If you have any suggestions for ways to improve the Transfer Station just leave it in the box.
Board of Health Hours Changed
The Board of Health Clerks Hours will now be on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.Board of Health Raffle Winner Announced Transfer Station Bags Winner: Keep bringing in that trash and you could be the next person to win free bags from the Transfer Station.
. We will continue to have the drawing each month so continue bringing in the trash from the side of the road and put your name in the basket and you might win a bag of 10 bags. That will save you $15.00. Thank you for keeping New Salem clean.Suggestion Box at Transfer Station
There will be a suggestion box at the New Salem Transfer Station. If you have any suggestions for ways to improve the Transfer Station just leave it in the box.
New Salem Agricultural Commission
The Agricultural Commission is looking for new members, as we now have 6 members for generating ideas, assisting with planning and development! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, join our meetings, or "like" our New Salem Community Garden page at (https://www.facebook.com/Newsalemcommunitygarden2014?ref=bookmarks) on Facebook.
Bat Exposure Information
If you have questions about potential rabies exposures or how to submit a bat to MDPH for rabies testing, please call the MDPH, Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at (617) 983-6800. Detailed information is attached. For additional information on rabies, you may also visit the website at www.mass.gov/dph/rabies.
Check out the Springfield MRF Advisory Board's 2014 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Guide, online at: www.tinyurl.com/RRR2014
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 or Jane Clukay at 544-2660.