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Broadband Update and Network Mapping

The Broadband Committee and Selectboard had a very productive meeting with representatives from Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E) and Precision Valley Communications (PVC) who visited New Salem this week. WG&E is the company New Salem has contracted with to design and build our fiber network.  They are employing PVC to do the field engineering, which is mapping distance and showing how to feed fiber to each dwelling.

 

Starting Monday, September 25, and through most of the week, PVC will have 3-4 mappers in town to work on the field engineering.  They will be going down driveways and crossing properties wherever utility lines run. They will be using laser measuring devices (which look somewhat like cameras) to get detailed information to be used in the design of our network. The vehicles will have signs that say "Whip City Fiber" and the mappers will wear orange vests that say "Precision Valley Communications." Please do not be concerned if you see these vehicles and individuals.  This process is an integral part of designing our fiber network.

 

Please feel free to contact us at Broadband@newsalem-massachusetts.org  – The New Salem Broadband Committee

 

Photos needed The Selectboard is interested in photographs to be considered for the next town report.  Please send photos to newsalemselectboard@gmail.com.  The board reports that nature photos are preferred and the pool of choices is often small.  The choice won’t be made until April so there is time to find and submit possibilities.

Annual Household Waste Collection Day
The Franklin County Solid Waste District is holding its annual household hazardous waste collection on Saturday, September 23, at GCC Main Campus and the Orange Transfer Station. Residents and businesses must pre-register between August 17 and September 15. During that time, online registration will be open at www.franklincountywastedistrict.org/hazwasteday.html. Paper registration forms will be available at town offices, the transfer station, and in ads in the Greenfield Recorder. The collection is free for residents of New Salem. Businesses must pay for disposal costs. For business registration information, call (413) 772-2438.  

This collection provides an opportunity to dispose of hazardous items that should not be put in the trash, such as leftover oil-based paints, stains, thinners, household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, pool chemicals, motor oil, antifreeze, automobile batteries, and other household chemicals. For a complete list of acceptable items, see the web address above.  Mercury-containing products such as thermometers, thermostats and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) should never be disposed of in the trash. At the 2017 Hazardous Waste Collection Event, only mercury-containing items such as thermostats and thermometers will be accepted; fluorescent bulbs will not be accepted at this collection. CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs are accepted at all municipal transfer stations. In addition, fluorescent light bulbs are accepted at Lowe’s Stores (all types of fluorescents), and Home Depot (CFLs only).

Free Home Energy Assessment and Light Bulbs
The New Salem Energy Committee wants to remind residents to participate in MassSave, a program which provides FREE home energy efficiency assessments to homeowners and renters.  During an appointment, the assessor will evaluate options to increase energy efficiency in your home and can provide LED high-efficiency light bulbs, programmable thermostats, advanced power strips, low-flow showerheads, and faucet aerators AT NO COST.  Discounted wireless thermostats are also available.  If you need additional insulation or heating, MassSave can provide FREE air sealing of leaks and drafty areas, as well as 75% off of up to $2000 of insulation improvements.  Rebates for high-efficiency hot water and heating systems are available, as well as 0% HEAT Loans for eligible projects.  You can schedule an assessment at 866-527-SAVE or MassSave.com.  Informational pamphlets are also available at the library.

Broadband Update Spring/Summer 2017

April 4th

·        Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E) presentation to the Broadband Committee, Selectboard and Finance Committee.

April 20th

·        WiredWest presentation to the Broadband Committee, Selectboard and Finance Committee.

April 24th

·         Grant application submitted to EOHED (Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development), the government agency now responsible for managing Last Mile funds that were formerly managed by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI).

May 24th

·         The Governor announces the approval of the EOHED Grant funds for New Salem.

June 5th

·         The Selectboard and Municipal Light Plant (MLP) Manager sign the state contract to accept the EOHED Grant funds.

June 27th

·         Members of the Selectboard and Broadband Committee participate as one of five regional towns invited to a roundtable discussion of the Broadband Project with the Lieutenant Governor, the Deputy Director of the EOHED and Director of MBI. 

Late June

·         New Salem receives its initial disbursement of Grant funds from the state.  The $350,000 disbursement is for the Design/Engineering portion of the project and is the original amount promised. More disbursements will come as specific mile markers are met throughout the project.

July 17th

·        After extensive review by individuals and legal counsel, the Selectboard and the MLP Manager sign a contract with WG&E to design and build the fiber network for New Salem.

August 7th

·        Members of the Broadband Committee and Selectboard attend a Kick-Off meeting at the WG&E Headquarters in Westfield. In addition to a tour of the facility, details of the design/engineering and construction processes were presented by the WG&E Department heads.

August 16th

·        With Selectboard approval, the MLP Manager signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with WiredWest to participate in a regional solution for the operation and management of our network once it has been constructed.

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


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!


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

Selectboard

 

Town Hall Annex

24 S. Main Street

New Salem, MA 01355


Town Clerk

Tax Collector

Assessors

 

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


 

ELECTRICAL WORK—

TOWN OF NEW SALEM

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.