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Hawley town meeting Monday

HAWLEY — Annual town meeting voters will be asked to approve a $226,388 town government budget, join the Blackboard Connect Notification System for townwide emergency alerts, and to ask Baystate Health Systems to keep Baystate Franklin Medical Center a “full-service community hospital.”

The annual meeting begins Monday at 8 p.m. in Town Office.

The town government budget represents a $9,000 increase, or 4 percent, over this year’s fiscal budget.

The new budget request for all school spending and transportation is $396,734, compared to $429,881 this year. The decrease is largely due to reduced costs for sending students to vocational schools. Hawley was asked for $106,300 last spring; this year’s request is for $57,000. The town’s Mohawk school district assessment rose from $122,350 to $138,833 for the coming school year. Also, the town’s share of Mohawk capital costs, for the Green Repair roof and window replacement projects, increased from $1,800 to $4,480.

Town officials are asking for $1,500 for the Blackboard Connect Notification System, which could be used to alert residents of emergencies, such as a future flooding danger.

Several articles are on the warrant to improve functioning in the Town Office. A warrant article seeks $2,000 for the Town Computer Account, to cover upgrades and repairs. $1,000 is requested to cover continuing education and conference expenses for town officers.

Residents are also asked to hear the recommendations of the Job Description Review Committee regarding the town clerk salary, and to appropriate an additional sum to cover an increase.

Last year, several Franklin County towns voted on a measure to ask Congress to support a Constitutional amendment that limits corporations from unlimited election spending as a “right of free speech” issue. This article is on Hawley’s warrant for Monday night.

The last article is a resolution asking Baystate Health Systems “to commit all necessary resources to ensure the provision of all needed services” for Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield. The resolution points out that a lack of public transportation and the long distance between parts of Franklin County and Springfield present a challenge for some county residents, and that some services that used to be available at Baystate Franklin are now only available at Baystate in Springfield. This article was a citizen’s petition that is on several town meeting warrants this spring.

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