Welcome to the Mayor's Blog
Check us out on Facebook and Twitter - 1/06/13
Look for more news from the Mayor on Facebook and Twitter at these links:
You can also connect to other Easthampton agencies social network pages at links here:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays ! - 12/20/12
We wish all residents a very happy holiday season and a joyous new year too!
Easthampton Toy Program - 11/20/12
The Easthampton Toy Program provides gifts for those in need.
Contact Karen in the Mayors' office if you are an Easthampton resident in need of help providing a Christmas gift to your child. We serve all children up to the of 10 years old.
Veterans Day celebration - 11/07/12
Veteran's day is November 11th, be sure to remember those who have served so that we may be free!
Important information on the West Nile Virus problem! - 9/05/12
For Immediate release - September 05, 2012
State Health Officials Announce Additional Human and Horse Cases of WNV Infection
Another human case in Middlesex County, and in a horse stabled in Hampden County
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced two new cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in the state. The first case involves a female resident of Middlesex County in her 30s who has recovered from her illness. Current WNV threat levels in Middlesex County are not impacted by this finding. The second case pertains to a horse stabled in Hampden County. As a result of the Hampden County case, the WNV threat level has been raised to “Critical” in Chicopee and to “High” in Granby, Holyoke, Springfield, South Hadley, and West Springfield.
“These results show that the threat of mosquito-borne illness remains a serious concern across the state,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria. “We need to continue to take steps to protect ourselves against mosquito bites: use insect repellant, cover up, and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and after nightfall when mosquitoes are at their most active.”
WNV infected mosquitoes have been found in 101 communities from nine counties so far during 2012, and health officials predict that the state is on track to have the greatest number of WNV-positive mosquito pools since WNV was first seen in Massachusetts in 2000. There have been
eight human cases of WNV in Massachusetts prior to today’s announcement – six in Middlesex County, one in Hampden County and one in Berkshire County. There were six cases of WNV in Massachusetts residents and one in a horse last year.
While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.
People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
- Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
- Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Protect Your Animals
Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results from 2012, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.
Check out the latest episode of Ask Mike on local access cable television. - 8/08/12
There's always something going on in Easthampton and much of it is covered by our own local television station, Easthampton Cable Access Television - ECATChannel5.org.
See this link for the latest episode of Ask Mike featuring interviews with ECA Coordinator Burns Maxey about the Bearfest and Superintendent of Schools Nancy Follansbee about the Easthampton public school department budget.
Oliver Street solar facility declared operational - 6/04/12
The solar facility atop the Oliver Street Landfill was declared "operational" on June 1, 2012. That milestone starts a ten-year contract that will save Easthampton taxpayers over $1 million and produce nearly 3 million kWh of green electricity annually.
Here's a link to the power production information: http://www.powerdash.com/systems/1000516/#
Buy local because Local Works - 5/30/12
I bet you know that a dollar spent with a local business benefits our local economy nearly twice as much as that same dollar spent with a chain store. That's why we're proud to announce the Local Works initiative, our effort to remind all of our citizens how important shopping local really is. Watch for our campaign in a store near you!
Check out our Local Access TV station - 4/18/12
There's always something going on in Easthampton and much of it is covered by our own local television station, Easthampton Cable Access Television - ECATChannel5.org.
See local programming, take advantage of featured offerings, watch live and recorded public meetings, check out the program guides for all three stations and find out what's happening here in Easthampton.
High School Progress Reports - 3/20/12
See the High School Building Committee homepage on our web site for the most recent project Progress Report, as submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
Bear Fest 2012 - 2/23/12
The 2012 Easthampton Bear Fest is officially underway!
The Call to Artists has been completed and the response was outstanding. A reception to show off the unpainted bears, entitled the Naked Bear Party, is scheduled for this evening and we'll see the finished product located along the streets of Easthampton in June.
Be on the lookout for more information, see you on the streets!
EHS Progress Report - 1/25/12
The high school project remains on time and under budget. Structural foundation work is finished and under floor utilities are nearing completion as slab construction continues with the help of portable heating equipment. Structural steel installation is progressing as expected with frequent material deliveries to accommodate the limited on-site storage capacity. See the EHS Building Committee page, under the Departments tab, for a copy of the latest monthly report.
Winter storm Albert update - 1/04/12
The late October snow storm that downed trees and power lines, leaving most of our community without power for five days, has take its toll on our cash reserves. With more than eight thousand of yards of wood and brush collected by city crews, and even more delivered to our disposal site by residents, the cleanup is not yet complete. That material still needs to be properly disposed. To date the city has expended nearly $100,000 on excess overtime and equipment rental to deal with the debris. Managers expect to need additional funds to repair broken machinery and grind nearly 50,000 yards of wood waste.
Oliver Street solar project completed - 12/14/11
Construction has been completed on the solar facility on top of the old landfill. We are still waiting for Western Massachusetts Electric Company to install the new poles and wiring needed to connect the system to their electrical grid and hope to have the power flowing by February 2012.
LED streetlight project completed - 10/11/11
Our contractor has completed the installation of 469 LED streetlights, on-time and on budget. I estimate that the project will save approximately 175,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. That energy savings will start to show up in the next billing cycle and the maintenance savings has already begun. The next phase will involve finding a suitable and economical replacement fixture for the 70 watt decorative lighting that has been installed in new residential subdivisions over the past 30 years.
Introducing 'Ask Mike' on local access TV - 10/05/11
After nearly a year of planning our new Government Access studio is now operational. Here's the first show produced in the new facility. Check out the show on Vimeo today!
Oliver Street Solar Project begins! - 9/13/11
Borrego Solar Systems held their official construction project kick-off meeting today at the Oliver Street landfill site, making this the first project of its kind to commence construction in Massachusetts. In addition to the developer, designer and project sub-contractors, the city was represented by the DPW Director Joseph Pipczynski, City Engineer James Gracia and myself. Some minor clearing and site preparation will be completed this week with a full project crew expected to commence work on Monday the 19th. Initial site work will consist of spreading crushed stone by the site contractor, to create passable roads over the landfill from which the other contractors can perform their work. This will be followed by the installation of pre-cast concrete bases and metal racks to which the solar panels will be attached. Once the panels are in place the electrical systems located on-site will be interconnected to produce high voltage AC electrical current that will be metered into the Western Massachusetts Electric Company distribution grid. Construction is expected to move quickly and the project is scheduled to be completed within 120 days.
Build it and they will come! - 9/06/11
No, it's not the Field of Dreams but it's just as positive!
We have identified a state grant program that has the potential to provide up to 100% of the money needed to design and construct a boardwalk along the shoreline of Nashawannuck Pond, from the shops on Cottage Street to the lower entrance of Brookside Cemetery on Williston Avenue. The concept, intended to support our economic development efforts by bolstering Easthampton as a destination for arts and leisure activity, has been talked about for more than ten years and was finally put on paper by Landscape Architect Bill Canon (with financial help from Williston-Northampton School) back in 2008. Late in 2010 the state combined four existing programs to created one new grant program designed to help build public infrastructure. They set up the guidelines in early 2011 and opened it up for the first round of applications in August. A different Architect working on our high school project, the Berkshire Design Group, offered to advance the concept to a design level acceptable for the grant application.
Preparing to finance the new high school - 8/09/11
Dog Days of Summer 2011 - 8/03/11
As summers go, this has been a hot one but we're still making good progress!
The General Contractor has been busy preparing the land for our new high school. The aggregate soil work will be completed late this week or early next and pre-load materials are already being placed on the East portion of the building site.
The first shipment of LED streetlights has come in and our electrical contractor will start installing them on Monday. Watch for an occasional short delay along Route 10 and 141 during the morning commute over the next two weeks.
EHS Construction Progress - 7/11/11
Work on the new high school is progressing steadily now that regular classes have ended. The site has already been cleared of vegetation and stripped of topsoil, to allow for preliminary construction activity, and the land is being conditioned with drainage and compaction in order to provide a firm base for the new building foundation. Stone aggregated columns will be installed in the subsoil during July and August and temporary parking for staff and students will be completed before September.
LED streetlight installation - 7/06/11
The replacement of more than 450 existing high pressure sodium street lights with new Light Emitting Diode fixtures is expected to start in early August. These new high-efficiency lights, to be installed on all major arteries (Routes 10 and 141) and on most primary feeder streets, are expected to save more than $38,000 in energy and maintenance costs annually.
Municipal Electricity Aggregation - 6/23/11
This week the Hampshire Council of Governments filed our application for Municipal Aggregation of electricity with the state’s Department of Public Utilities. Under this program, Hampshire Power will serve as the energy supplier for all electric utility accounts in Easthampton. The state approval process is likely to take a few months and will include at least one public hearing.
Easthampton High School - 6/08/11
Phase 1 of the new high school project is now officially underway. The contractor will be installing their construction fencing this week with survey and tree clearing to be followed by earth-moving and site work to prepare for the foundation system.
City-owned streetlights - 5/04/11
We purchased the streetlights from WMECo in 2006 to save a projected $35,000 per year. In response to a request from one of its' members, I recently provided a detailed report to our City Council showing a $40,000 annual savings to the taxpayers!
Bids Openings - 4/19/11
Bids on tap this week include the high school and street lights!
Filed bids for the new high school are due from various sub-contractors (electricians, plumbers, HVAC, etc.) on Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of bids are expected to be received from eighteen different trades. The project will start in late May or early June and a ground-breaking has been scheduled for May 27th.
Sealed bids for Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lights will be opened on Thursday afternoon. Pricing will be submitted separately for the purchase of high-efficiency LED fixtures and for their installation by a qualified electrical contractor. Green Community Grant funds and a Western Massachusetts Electric Company energy conservation program will fund this energy-saving opportunity.
Oliver Street landfill solar project - 3/03/11
This 2 Megawatt solar facility moved a step closer to reality today when Borrego Solar released preliminary design plans showing 9,620 panels on 418 racks that will be connected through four 500 kW inverters to two 1000 kVA transformers. Interconnection permits have been filed with the utility and final plans and local permit applications are expected to be completed this summer.
LED Street Lights - 2/09/11
We recently installed LED street lights in six locations around the city.
7 Fairfield Avenue
102 Holyoke Street
16 Industrial Park Way
18 Mechanic Street
Northampton Street @ West Street
200 Park Street @ WBMS
Please take a look and let us know what you think!
Save energy and win a solar panel - 2/07/11
I’m excited to tell you about a new program that helps residents reduce energy bills, it's called Western Mass Saves.
Go to the web at http://www.WesternMassSaves.com and you’ll learn easy ways to track and reduce your energy use, plus you can earn rewards while you’re saving.
If enough Easthampton residents truly save energy we can earn a free solar electricity panel. Log on now, enroll in the program and help our community, the environment and your pocketbook.
2014 Hunting & Fishing Licenses are now for sale in the City Clerk's Office >> see all announcements
>> see more
Economic Development and Industrial Commission (EDIC)
12/10/13 >> see event calendar
Local Works EDIC Subcommittee
Recording Clerk - Zoning Board Of Appeals And Planning Board>> see all job postings
Apply by 10/22/12