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Nichewaug Video Tour
Unitarian Church Program on Food
Katja Esser will offer a program on Food, the law of nature, and physical well-being on Sunday June 16 from 10:30-11:30 am at the Petersham Unitarian Church
The service is at the Petersham Unitarian Church on June 16 at 10:30 am at the Davis Memorial on the corner of West Street and the Petersham Common.
Katja Esser is an artist, performer, ceremonialist, videographer, gardener, and creative cook.
University of the Wild Program
The University of the Wild is offering a Sustainable Living Workshop on Backyard Food: Foraging Local Wild Food, with herbalist, Lenore Anderson on Saturday, June 15th from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. The program starts on the South Common in Petersham and will meander the fields, wetlands, and forests near the center of Petersham. Anderson has a master's degree in clinical herbalism She leads monthly Wild Edible and Medicinal Plant Walks with Earthwork Programs in Conway, MA. For information and registration contact Dr. Larry Buell at (978) 724-0412 (O) (978) 855-1420 (Cell/Text) <email@example.com> VISIT: www.universityofthewild.orgZoning Board Meetings Ahead
The Zoning Board of Appeals will hold public hearings on two projects.
The board rescheduled a hearing on a petition to raise the height of a cell tower planned for 41 Hall Road. The hearing will be at 7:30 p.m. June 27 in the town hall. The petitioner is Tower North Development.
Sunpin Solar Development is seeking permission to build a large solar array on New Athol Road. That hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. May 30 in the town hall Application submitted by Sunpin Solar Development, for land on New Athol Road. Sunpin is based in Irvine, California and has a Boston office.
Community Garden Plots Available
Wondering where to plant those tomatoes? There will be up to five free plots available this spring in the community garden behind the library. The plots are approximately 40 feet by 50 feet and fertile.They are rototilled. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dump Stickers Available
Resident stickers for the transfer station are available at the Selectboard office. The cost is $25.00 cash or check made out to Town of Petersham for 2 stickers only. The new stickers are yellow.
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Friday Market Totes Are Here
Sturdy and stylish, reusable Friday Market shopping tote bags that can be used on any shopping trip are now available at The Country Store, at Quabbin Woods and at the Memorial Library. Or request a bag by e-mail to email@example.com.
These commodious totes are available for a donation of $10 or more to support the 20-week Friday Market music program on the common. The market opens again on June 7, 2019 and each Friday through October.
Get Some Free Stuff
You Can't Beat These Prices
At the Dump
Transfer Station (DUMP) Fees
Calendar of Town Committee Meetings
Free Property Valuation Booklet
The Valuation and Taxes of the Town of Petersham for the Year 2016 booklet is available at the Petersham Town Offices at the Board of Assessors Office, the Selectboard Office and the Petersham Memorial Library during regular business hours. Interested Petersham taxpayers are invited to pick up a free copy.
February Selectboard Office Hours
Monday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Selectboard Meeting Dates 2019
Petersham Selectboard Regular Meeting Dates
Regular start time at 6:30 p.m. unless determined otherwise. Additional meetings may be scheduled as the need arises.
Sen. Anne Gobi
Wednesday June 26th
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. – Petersham Town Offices
Rep. Susannah Whipps
Official Town Website -
Committee meeting notices are posted at www.mytowngovernment.org
If only the river were this blue...
Town Meeting Voters Say This Town Is Bee Friendly
After a 35-minute wait for a required quorum to materialize, town meeting voters declared Petersham to be pollinator friendly, bought a fire truck, OK'd a new police cruiser and said "yes" to a record breaking school budget.
With 937 residents registered to vote, Moderator Bart Wendell said 94 people must check in before town meeting can take any action. He said the town's 10 percent quorum requirement is one of the highest in the state.
There were few questions and even less debate as voters approved a $280,000 fire truck, a special services pickup truck police cruiser for $47,065 and other budget items including interest payments on borrowings that could add up to a 9.5 percent hike in property taxes for fiscal 2020.
Voters approved a resolution (absent any rules or regulations) that encourages folks to adopt practices that encourage the health of pollinators like bees. and the planting of the plants, shrubs and trees on which pollinators depend. The resolution originated in Petersham Grange 95 and was submitted for a vote by the Conservation Commission. Chair Bob Clark promised programs and demonstrations to help make Petersham "Pollinator Friendly."
Petersham Friday Market Opens June 7 for 20 Fridays
The Petersham Friday Market returned to the town common from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 7 featuring local produce, meat and eggs, craft items and healthcare information.
Northampton band Lunar Carnival provided the first performance of the market's 20-week live music series.
More than a dozen local vendors offer organic and other produce from local farms and within the Pioneer Valley. Offerings include started plants of many kinds, locally raised meat, chickens, local eggs, baked goods, home-baked dog cookies, local honey, handmade soaps and other craft items. Friday Market vendors vary weekly and include Petersham's Chimney Hill Farm and Sweetwater Farm (organic produce, meat), The Little Chicken Factory (mobile chicken coops), Bob Hayward's local garlic, Pick and Shovel Farm (plants and produce), Kiwi Meadows Farm (organic produce), Rick Wilkey (Valley produce) and other local growers. Dry Brook Garden offers tubers and cut flowers. Starfire Bakery and Sweet Cottage Farm bring baked goods. Elzire’s Acre goat milk soap. Other vendors offer greeting cards and wood carvings. Mindful Garden farm also provides organic vegetables.
The market is open without charge to both regular and occasional vendors and to information booths staffed by health care agencies and social services who share information about their programs. The market relies on donations and grants to cover expenses.
Petersham Friday Market music is offered with support from town meeting voters, Heywood Healthcare, the Wild Geese Foundation, Petersham Cultural Council, Petersham Grange 95 and from local donors. The town common is handicap accessible.
In appreciation for their organization's support, up to 50 employees of Heywood Healthcare will receive a "Fabulous Five Dollar Coupon" on June 7 to spend at the market when they present their employee IDs at the Market Coordinator's booth.
For information, contact Roy Nilson (978-724-6662) or by e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.petershamcommon.com.
Boards Get Ready for June 3 Town Meeting
Selectmen and Finance Committee members met May 22 to answer questions about the coming fiscal 2020 budget and about spending items in a proposed $4.4 million town budget. Two members of the public attended the session.
Fin Comm Chair Ross France said the 2020 local tax appropriation will rise by about $77,000 and will amount to a 9.5 percent increase over this year's tax rate or about $18.11 per one thousand of assessed value. A property assessed for $450,000 will pay about $8,100 in property tax. The actual tax rate will be set by the Board of Assessors.
France said the Fincom's primary goal is to craft a budget within Proposition 2 1/2 that provides for essential services, to treat employees fairly, to avoid using free cash to pay general operating expenses and to plan for future expenses.
Selectboard Chair Nancy Allen said going over final spending plans "... has benefits even if there are no residents in the room. The tax rate is the big issue this year." Contributors to the local tax burden this year include flat state reimbursement for education costs, payments due on various borrowing for schools, the Nichewaug and broadband expenses and proposed new vehicles for police and fire.
Fire Chief Dana Robinson is seeking a replacement fire truck for $280,000. The police department is seeking $48,205 for a pickup truck equipped to serve as a cruiser/emergency vehicle. Some $103,195 is due for principal and interest on center school construction; $22,253 is due on Ralph C. Mahar construction; $47,065 will pay principal and interest on Nichewaug asbestos removal; and $60,000 is due for payment on two loans for the broadband project.
In all, voters will consider 42 articles on the town meeting warrant.
Selectboard Turns Down State Handicapped Grant
The Selectboard voted May 15 to turn down a $70,000 grant from the Massachusetts Office on Disability to install a handicap lift system intended to connect the upper and lower town halls.
The grant was approved in January, but the town is not able to complete the project on time or within budget, Chair Nancy Allen said. In a letter to the state office, the board said the town will forfeit its grant. "... in the project, we are not able to successfully bridge an unforseen construction budget gap. ... we have determined that there is a funding shortfall." The work was required to be completed by June 30.
Both the upper and lower halls are handicap accessible but there is no connection between them for the disabled. The main hall is served by a temporary exterior ramp at the front of the building. The proposed lift project would provide access from outside of the building and allowed entry to both the upper and lower halls without intruding on the historic presence of the building. A five-member volunteer access committee helped produce the original grant application and solicited architectural drawings and a bid from a local contractor. Allen did not say when an opportunity to apply for the money again might materialize.Broadband Information Meeting Held May 11
Nearly two dozen residents attended an update meeting on the town broadband project from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday May 11 in the Lower Town Hall. Matrix representatives were on hand to answer questions. Utility companies are upgrading poles around town. Half of homes could be connected to high-speed service by September with the rest hooked up by year's end.
Broadband chairman Chip Bull says, "This is the most complex project Petersham has ever undertaken - More than 47 miles of fiber-optic cable will be installed - More than 375 customers will be connected - More than 1900 utility poles have been individually surveyed - Estimated investment by our Broadband partner Matrix Design of $1.75 million dollars - $880,000 is (expected) from the State as Petersham's share of grant funding - This project represents more than nine years of effort and thousands of donated hours by Town residents.
Help Wanted -- New Petersham Librarian Needed
The Petersham Memorial Library Board of Trustees is seeking a dedicated and knowledgeable part-time, 20-hour per week, Director to manage the operations of the Library. The successful candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree, demonstrated leadership abilities, and work experience within the field of library science, or a position with comparable responsibilities. MLS encouraged.
Candidates without an MLS must obtain a Sub-professional Certificate of Librarianship from theMassachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) upon appointment and must complete the MBLC’s special training in Basic Library Techniques. Experience with Evergreen ILS and CW MARS a plus. A job description is available at the library or view the MBLC webpage at https://mblc.state.ma.us and look under Library Jobs.
Our library is a center for culture, education, and community enrichment and we look forward to finding a new leader. Send cover letter and resume by May 31st to: Library Search Committee Petersham Memorial Library 23 Common St Petersham, MA 01366 or submit via email to: email@example.com
Mostly Dogs, a Squirrel, a Cat and One Bear
Control Call Log Summary
04/01@9a Resident call for sighting of a medium black dog on 32A. To area, described dog seen. Humane trap, food, and satellite camera placed in area.
04/01@6p Resident call to request meeting regarding an incident that occurred while out walking. Resident stated two dogs, off leash, came aggressively toward them as they were walking their dogs on leash. Meeting with resident held to discuss event.
04/02 Phone call to owner of off leash dogs described above. Letter and notice sent.04/03@6p Resident call regarding bear in backyard. Discussion about bear activity.
04/04@6:30p Resident call regarding sighting on Route 122 near New Salem line of an unidentified large animal, movement more cat like than dog like. Animal appeared the size of a very large dog. Tan in color, long tail. Additional information recorded.
04/08@9:50a Resident call regarding cat that has been in tree for 24hrs. Advice given and owner of cat returned call they were able to secure. Additional advice given about warming and feeding the cat.
04/14@9a Resident call to report several sightings of a large black cat in yard and no neighbors have a similar cat. Cat gone upon arrival. Resident will call if cat seen again and humane trap will be placed.
04/14@3:30p Resident call to request a deceased, unidentified animal in stream near house be