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West County Notebook

Rowe, Hawlemont committees set
to meet on Tuesday

CHARLEMONT — The Rowe and Hawlemont school committees will hold a joint meeting Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. to discuss both the current school year and the options for the Rowe Elementary School to continue sharing the Hawlemont Regional School building for the school year that begins next fall.

Rowe Elementary School’s 60 or so schoolchildren and its staff have been housed in Hawlemont classrooms this year because of the Aug. 4 fire that destroyed the Rowe Elementary School building.

If the Rowe school is to stay on at Hawlemont for another year, the committees will have to develop another one-year contract for the 2013-14 school year.

The meeting will be held in the Hawlemont cafeteria.

Buckland waives parking ticket after road rule change

BUCKLAND — Selectmen waived a $10 parking ticket for a Charlemont man who didn’t realize that parking rules had changed for the steep and newly reconstructed Clement Street.

“After 30 years of parking there, it came on very sudden,” Sonny Crawford told selectmen Tuesday night. “It’s not about the $10,” he added. “It’s about the principle.”

On Oct. 23, the board voted not to allow parking on the narrow road, as a safety measure. The new no-parking rule took effect on Oct. 25, the street was posted, and the police were told to give warnings to violators for up to a week after the no-parking rule was in place.

The board discussed whether waiving Crawford’s ticket would bring in others who want to contest paying parking tickets there.

“Perhaps seven days (to issue warnings) wasn’t long enough, but that’s what we told the police chief to do,” said Selectman Cheryl Dukes.

To be fair to others who may have gotten parking tickets on Clement Street, the board voted 2-1 to waive Clement Street parking tickets that were issued on or before Nov. 4th — when Crawford’s ticket was issued.

Buckland to see 28-cent tax hike

BUCKLAND — Pending state Department of Revenue approval, residents will see a 28-cent tax rate increase.

Assessors Chairwoman Marion Scott said the increase will raise the town tax rate from $14.60 to $14.88 per $1,000 valuation.

Also, the board voted to continue its single tax rate for commercial/residential taxpayers.

Work to begin soon on bridge replacement

BUCKLAND — Work will begin soon on a $1.4 million replacement of the Route 112 bridge near the Buckland Recreation Area, which runs above the Clark Brook.

According to Town Coordinator Andrea Llamas, the state Department of Transportation is planning to work through winter “as much as possible,” to build a wider bridge, with 12-foot travel lanes, 6-foot shoulders and a sidewalk on the side of the bridge closest to the recreation area.

She said workers will begin putting up temporary utility poles on the south side of the bridge, while construction starts on the north side.

During construction, only one lane will be open to traffic, with two traffic lights positioned at the ends of the useable lane. Llamas said Mass DOT expects the bridge project to be completed next year.

Llamas said this state bridge project has been planned since about 2010.

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