Montague Notebook: Nov. 11, 2022

  • Erving Public Library’s Sensory Story and Play Group will be held on the first and third Sunday of each month from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • The former International Paper mill in Erving. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Published: 11/10/2022 5:12:43 PM
Town seeks new quote for potential mill demolition

ERVING — The Selectboard voted last week to request a new estimate for the possible demolition of the International Paper mill.

The town last received a cost estimate four years ago, officials recalled. Erving will seek a new estimate from Westfield-based consulting firm Tighe & Bond.

The property at 8 Papermill Road, valued at nearly $1.49 million between the land and buildings, has sat vacant for two decades. After constructing eight buildings between 1902 and 2000, International Paper “suddenly shuttered the mill” before selling it “to a private developer who left the complex vacant and delinquent on property taxes,” according to Town Planner Mariah Kurtz. The town took control of the property in 2014 and conducted feasibility studies and evaluations.

A formal request for proposals (RFP) was then released in March 2022, concluding in May without success. The town held a public forum to consider potential next steps for the property in August, with options ranging from creative reuse to complete demolition.

Annual holiday fair returning to Montague Center

MONTAGUE CENTER — The annual Fete Noel Fall Festival Fair will be held at the First Congregational Church of Montague on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Free coffee will be offered between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. Corn chowder and sandwiches will be available for lunch. Handmade crafts, Christmas decorations, a secondhand boutique, a tin can drawing, a candy sale and a straw draw will also be available. All proceeds will benefit local and global mission programs.

Those seeking more information are encouraged to call 413-367-2812.

Sensory Story and Play Group to be held twice monthly

ERVING — Erving Public Library’s Sensory Story and Play Group will be held on the first and third Sunday of each month from 10 to 10:45 a.m.

The recurring event will be “a sensory playtime with storytelling and word development for toddlers and their caregivers,” the library describes in its events calendar. It will be Spanish and English friendly.

No advance registration is required.

Downtown Turners Falls gets winter parking regulation

TURNERS FALLS — The Montague Selectboard voted Monday to ban on-street parking between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. during winter emergencies in downtown Turners Falls or the Patch neighborhood.

Vehicles may park on downtown streets during all other times, including during overnight hours, provided a winter emergency is not in effect. Public parking during a winter emergency is available at the municipal lots on First Street, Third Street, the Great Falls Discovery Center, Canal Street, Sixth Street, and on the odd-numbered side of L Street between Prospect Street and Fifth Street. The Department of Public Works is authorized to publicly post parking restrictions in each parking area to enable cleanup following a winter emergency.

DPW Superintendent Tom Bergeron is authorized to declare a winter emergency. A winter emergency may include snow and/or ice events and can be in effect for multiple days. Winter emergency updates will be posted to the website at

Montague Town Hall roof replacement ‘largely complete’

MONTAGUE — Replacement of Montague Town Hall’s roof is “largely complete” with only “loose ends to tie up” after the project began late last month, Town Administrator Steve Ellis announced at Monday’s Selectboard meeting.

The Selectboard executed a $137,250 agreement with North Grosvenordale, Connecticut-based K&G Remodeling Inc. for replacement of the roof and associated work during a meeting on Sept. 19.

“We were quite happy with the ferocity with which they approached the project,” Ellis said Monday. “They knew they had a limited window. They knew that we wanted to minimize impacts on town operations, so they started at 7 a.m. two Fridays ago and had over half the project completed by the time they got around to Monday morning.”

‘Peskeompskut’ painting celebration set for Saturday

TURNERS FALLS — “Peskeompskut,” a painting by Mashpee Wampanoag artist Robert Peters, will be celebrated during the annual Full Beaver Moon Gathering on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Great Falls Discovery Center.

The painting, described by the Nolumbeka Project cultural preservation organization as “a depiction of life at the Great Falls pre-colonization where tribes from all over the Northeast gathered annually to celebrate the bountiful fish runs,” was recently purchased by the town and displayed in Town Hall. It was commissioned by the Nolumbeka Project to illustrate Indigenous life in the Connecticut River Valley.

The free event will feature a speech by Peters and musical performance by Lily-Rakia Chandler. A raffle of items donated by Pocumtuck Homelands Festival vendors will have a drawing at the end of the presentations.


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