Hadley, UMass to extend strategic pact 

  • GAZETTE STAFFHadley Town Hall

Staff Writer
Published: 8/8/2022 11:02:34 AM
Modified: 8/8/2022 10:59:17 AM

HADLEY — A strategic agreement between the town of Hadley and the University of Massachusetts, including a $60,000 payment that is supposed to be made to the town annually, is being extended through October.

The Select Board Wednesday voted 5-0 to have the most recent deal, which originally ran from Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2020, amended by putting Oct. 30, 2022 as the new expiration date.

By taking this action, the hope is the UMass payment will be made to the town’s general fund, and that this will buy time for terms of the deal to be renegotiated.

“Just to be clear, if we want to get the $60,000 that we should have collected by June 30, 2022, we really need to get this addendum approved and signed,” said Select Board member Molly Keegan.

The partnership recognizes benefits Hadley provides to UMass and the impacts of the university on the town. About a quarter of the UMass campus is in Hadley, including both the Mullins Center and McGuirk Alumni Stadium, as well as other facilities like the Central Heating Plant and the UMass Farm.

Town Administrator Carolyn Brennan told the board that the town did get the $60,000 payment last year.

“Unfortunately, it expired in 2020, so we had a payment for 2021, didn’t have a payment for ‘22,” Brennan said.

In addition, Brennan is in the midst of talks with Tony Maroulis, the UMass executive director of community and strategic initiatives, who returned to the position after leaving for private sector work for most of 2021.

“Tony and I meet on a regular basis, and I get input from some of the department heads about what to put into the agreement,” Brennan said.

The current deal calls for a yearly meeting between Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy and Hadley leaders and quarterly meetings between the director of community relations at UMass and Hadley Select Board. UMass also pledged to buy a second Speed Alert 18 radar and message sign for $14,300 and to spend another $2,070 to purchase two Physio Control Lifepak 100 defibrillators.

Other elements of the partnership include having UMass and Hadley working together to mitigate the impact of Route 9 traffic; sharing information on long-range planning; pursuing economic opportunities, especially around student needs and activities and university research; exploring the potential for Hadley assisting in meeting the university’s water needs; and reviewing available and affordable housing for residents, students, staff and families relocating to the area.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.
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