Editorial: Keeping a crew close by

Brief thoughts on some of the event making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

We’re glad that as Western Massachusetts Electric Co. closes down its service center in Greenfield, it will be keeping six of its 20 employees close by. While the rest of the workforce will now be based out of its Hadley service center, four linemen, an electrician and a troubleshooter will work out of a substation located in Montague City. As WMECO spokesman Mike Durand put it, “This move is a good fit. It will give us more geographic diversity and ease the minds of our Franklin County customers.” We agree. Even with the way the regional electrical grid works — as well as knowing that crews aren’t necessarily bound by territory since WMECO sends personnel where they’re needed, when they’re needed, the local presence makes a difference psychologically.

Deerfield and its surplus properties

We’re sure that were more than a few Deerfield residents who didn’t know how much “surplus” properties the town owned. According to a recent Recorder story, Richard Calisewski, the Board of Health agent, has had the job of identifying the pieces of land that one way or another have become the town’s over the years — and he has identified some 31 properties of various shapes and sizes. What’s interesting is that these parcels, which amount to 168 acres in total, have at least a book value of $2 million. Even if the town doesn’t liquidate them all, it seems like it could get an infusion of cash, plus returning some of the land to the tax rolls. Every little bit of revenue helps.

What’s at stake in Leverett

We want to think that the moving of “Dig Safe” stakes that are part of the effort to bring a high-speed broadband connection to Leverett was a thoughtless random act, albeit a stupid one. We hope that’s all it was and not some misguided act of displeasure over the fact that the cable will be strung over poles. As Leverett Police Chief Gary Billings said, “It is vandalism of property and against the law. If somebody gets hurt or worse, they’re liable. ... it really puts the lives and safety of the people working on the line. It’s senseless.” Even if resident are unhappy about the poles, they need to think since there are serious consequences for this kind of act.

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