West County Notebook: May 19, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017
Demolition begins on old paper mill on river

MONROE — According to the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, hazardous waste abatement has begun in the derelict and abandoned wooden structure that was once part of a paper mill on the Deerfield River.

Andrea Woods, the FRCOG chief procurement officer, said work on taking down the building would begin sometime next week.

The town took the 1877-built structure by eminent domain after the absentee owner, who owed taxes going back to 1999, did not respond to a court order to take it down. The building is sagging above the Deerfield River and is a pollution hazard.

Last year, the state awarded grants for $520,000 to help pay for part of the demolition of the old mill building, which is in danger of collapsing into the Deerfield River. About $370,000 of the latest Environmental Affairs grant is to be used for building a new park.

Bardwells Ferry Road layout needed

SHELBURNE — Selectmen are asking the Franklin Regional Council of Governments to approve a layout of Bardwells Ferry Road, so that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) can go forward with a $2.2 million Bardwell Ferry Road bridge replacement over Dragon Brook.

A MassDOT engineering firm recently surveyed the county road but could not find any formal layout. The relatively small bridge over Dragon Brook is to be replaced next year.

Compost supplies available

HAWLEY — Residents can now get 2018 trash stickers, compost buckets for kitchen use and black composters for the yard at the Town Office. Supplies are limited.

Rowe tuition to be negotiated

BUCKLAND — Now that Rowe has said “no” to joining the Mohawk Trail Regional School District as a Grade 7 through 12 member town, Mohawk and Rowe school officials will have to renegotiate Rowe’s secondary education tuition costs for the school year that begins in September 2018.

The paper ballot vote in Rowe, to join Mohawk’s district was defeated by 41 “no” votes to 24 “yes” votes.

The town’s vote against becoming a member town does not affect the Mohawk budget that other member towns adopted at annual town meeting this spring.