West County Notebook: May 14, 2022

  • The former Buckland Post Office on Upper Street, pictured in the 1940s. Contributed Photo

Published: 5/13/2022 3:54:28 PM
Modified: 5/13/2022 3:52:51 PM
Hazard mitigation discussion planned for Tuesday

HEATH — The town, with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG), will hold a virtual public hearing on Tuesday, May 17, at 6 p.m. as a part of the regularly scheduled Selectboard meeting to review findings and priority actions that have come out of more than a year of discussions on community resilience building and hazard mitigation.

According to a press release from Allison Gage, FRCOG’s senior land use and natural resources planner, Heath is seeking to become designated as a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) community through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ MVP Program. Four meetings were held from October 2021 to April 2022 to discuss the impacts of climate change, identify the town’s top hazards of concern, review strengths and vulnerabilities, and brainstorm actions to increase resiliency in three categories: infrastructure, society and environment. By becoming an MVP community, Heath will be eligible to apply for MVP Action Grants to pursue identified action items.

The process will also result in an updated Hazard Mitigation Plan for the town, the release states. Once the plan is approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the town will also be able to apply for hazard mitigation funding from those agencies.

A draft copy of the MVP Plan is available at bit.ly/3B0e4iF.

Historical Society seeks oral history accounts of former Post Office

BUCKLAND — The Buckland Historical Society is collecting oral history accounts about the former Buckland Post Office during three sessions this month.

Those with memories of the Post Office are encouraged to come to the Mary Lyon Church’s Community Room on Monday, May 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. or on Sundays, May 15 and May 22, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. to share their recollections. Audience members are also welcome, as is gifted or loaned memorabilia.

According to Buckland Historical Society President Michael McCusker, the “guts of the Post Office,” including the brass boxes and oak windows, will be set up in the basement of the church. The hope is that having the memorabilia might help jog residents’ memories. The Post Office was once located on Upper Street next to the Buckland Public Library, and moved around frequently.

Because the Wilder Homestead, where the brass boxes and oak windows have been stored, is expected to undergo renovations, McCusker said the items will not go back into storage there and the Historical Society is exploring other storage options.

“We have this idea of buying one of those garden sheds,” he said, noting that a couple of people have offered to contribute to buying one.

The oral history accounts given over the three sessions will be recorded by Otis Wheeler and Ian Hamilton of Greenfield Community Television (GCTV). McCusker said the plan is to edit together a program that will be aired on cable television, as well as for copies to be available at the Buckland Public Library.

“Getting it recorded is very, very key,” he said.

For more information, call McCusker at 413-834-3477.

Candidates’ night, pre-Town Meeting set for Monday

CHARLEMONT — The town will hold a candidates’ night on Monday, May 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Hawlemont Regional School.

Also on the agenda will be a discussion of the town budget and Annual Town Meeting warrant articles by the Finance Committee and Selectboard. Among the articles this year is a request for a $231,958 Proposition 2½ tax levy limit override to defray operating costs at Hawlemont Regional School.


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