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South Hadley’s first-ever Light up the Night celebration Saturday

The South Hadley Falls Neighborhood Association will hold its first winter event, Light up the Night, on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Old Firehouse Museum, 4 North Main St.

The event, which is open to the public, offers an opportunity to socialize with friends and neighbors over hot beverages and baked goods.

Participants can also make luminarias for the holiday season. Supplies for making six luminarias — bags, sand and candles — will be available at the event for a suggested donation of $5. The Falls Neighborhood Association plans to share the donations with the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Pantry.

Participants are encouraged to light their luminarias Saturday night, if weather permits. In case of inclement weather, luminarias can be lighted the following night.

Call (413) 437-0405 or email falls.neighbors@gmail to reserve luminaria supplies.

The event is also outlined on the association’s Facebook page.


Town administrator search

The Selectboard is reaching out to community groups regarding its newly created 11-member search committee to find a new town administrator. That committee will recruit, screen and interview candidates.

The committee will then recommend finalists to be interviewed by the Selectboard. Interviews by the Screening Committee are expected to be held in early and mid-February.

South Hadley has been without a full-time administrator since January, when Paul Beecher unexpectedly resigned after the board decided not to renew his contract, which still had a year to go.

Since then, Jennifer Wolowicz, the town’s chief procurement and human resources officer, has been acting administrator.

The Selectboard sent letters to community groups last week saying that while the board would not reserve seats on the search committee for “specific entities or individuals,” members hope the search panel will include “representation from a wide variety of organizations within the community.” The letter said the Selectboard “especially seeks to encourage participation by individuals affiliated with the school department, business community, Mount Holyoke College, the Council on Aging, nonprofit organizations, the Appropriations Committee and the Planning Board, in addition to residents from the community at large.”

“The Select Board is hoping to be as inclusive as possible of the many varied points of view within the town,” according to the letter.

Anyone interested in serving on the search committee needs to complete an online application on the Selectboard’s Web page on the town’s website, www.southhadleyma.gov, by Jan. 4.

Nomination papers are now available for South Hadley residents interested in running for municipal office, according to Town Clerk Carlene C. Hamlin.

The annual town election is set for April 1 and the deadline for returning nomination papers to her office is Feb. 11.

Town Meeting members are receiving notifications that they are up for re-election for three-year terms, Hamlin said. Those interested in becoming first-time Town Meeting members (South Hadley has 120 from all five precincts) should contact Hamlin’s office for nomination papers.

The following offices will appear on the ballot: Town moderator, one-year term; Selectboard, one three-year term and one one-year term to fill the unexpired term of Robert Judge, who is resigning in April; School Committee, two three-year terms; Board of Assessors, one three-year term; Board of Health, one three-year term; Municipal Light Board, one three-year term; Housing Authority, one five-year term; Planning Board, one five-year term; and trustee for South Hadley Free Public Library, three three-year terms. For information, call the clerk’s office at 538-5017, ext. 115, or email her at chamlin@southhadleyma.gov.


Repairs limit access

Access to the Recreation Department at Town Hall will be restricted to a stairwell at the back of the building near the Selectboard meeting room while repairs to the building’s basement floor are under way.


Landfill odors

Veronique Blanchard Smith, the town’s recycling coordinator, says the compost area at the Recycling Center took in an inordinate amount of tree debris from the Oct. 29, 2011, storm and subsequent storms. The huge amount of tree debris and yard waste, which has been ground and stockpiled, are causing odors at the area.

She said the odors are not related to the operation of the landfill.

“The Department of Public Works is working to control and eliminate the compost area odors. We ask the public for its patience and understanding,” she said. For information, call the DPW at 538-5033.

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