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The Ashfield News
Ashfield, Massachusetts
February 1, 2021     The Ashfield News
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February 1, 2021

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FEBRUARY 2021 THE ASHFIELD NEWS 3 TOWN GOVERNMENT Ashfield Town HallPublic Hours Updated July 31, 2019 413.628.4441 www.ashfie|d.org Department Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Town Hall Town Administrator, ext.7 JenniferMorse 9—4 9—4 9—4 9—4 9—4 9—4 ‘ 9—4 9—4 by appt Assessors' Clerk, ext.6 Jennifer Morse . 8—3:30 12:30—4 8—noon Assessors' Assistant Rachel Pantermehl 9—4 9—4 Municipal Clerk/Collector, ext.3 Lynn M. Benson 9—4 9—4 9—4 94 by appt Town Clerk, ext.5 / Alexis Fedorjaczenko 10—4 10—4 10—4 10—4 Treasurer, ext.4 Becky Herzog 9—4 9—4 From the Town Clerk’s Desk Town Caucus Date Nears but Logistics Remain in Flux Town Caucus and Election Update: If this were a “normal” year, Ashfield’s Annual Town Meeting and Town Election would be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021, and Town Caucus to nominate candidates would be held on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. We are evaluating this schedule in light of safety during the pandemic, guidance from the Commonwealth, and weather consider— ations related to holding events outdoors. Information and updates will be posted on the town website, ashfield. org, as available. Select Board Notes ‘ Lake Level, Fire Station Damage, Property Dispute BY DAVID KULP Select Board January 4 Questioning Lake Drawdown The town has lowered the lake level for three years in an attempt to reduce the spread of invasive plant species. The idea is that invasive plants ~— specifically fanwort, variable milfoil, and water chestnut — rooted in shallow waters would be killed by the exposure, but resident Ron Coler said “the jury is still out” regarding its effectiveness. Resident hydrologist Drew Haerer, who is working with Coler on lake management, agreed. Select Board member Todd Olanyk said that it’s likely that chemical treatment alone or in combination with a drawdown will be needed in the future. Coler agreed, but suggested that more study and decisions be made after Covid-19 has passed. Coler noted that regional authorities are interested in seasonal drawdowns so that the lake can serve as a large storm catchment after extreme rain. Care is also needed to protect the integrity of the darn since waterspouts have been identified in the spillway and it is :7 classified as “high hazard potential.” No Extra Library Funding Town Administra— tor Ienn Morse said that a request for addi— tional funding for the library through the federal CARES Act was denied.‘She said that library board’s chair, Marcine Eisenberg, has requested additional funding because the staff are working extra hours due to Covid- 19. Olanyk wondered why extra hours were incurred when the library was closed to the public. Select Board Chair Gougeon said that he would like the library to stick with its existing budget. Select Board member Tom Carter agreed. .Olanyk said that the Select Board is primarily concerned about total department Anyone with questions can contact Town Clerk Alexis Fedorjaczenko by email at TownClerk@ashfield.org or by calling 628— 4441, Extension 5. Below is a list of the positions for which nominations will be sought this year. Please consider accepting a nomination for office or nominating another citizen you feel is qualified and who is willing to serve. Two-Year Term: Park Commission (unexpired term) Constable (unex- pired term) Five—Year Term: Planning Board Library Trustee Three—Year Term: Select Board Board of Assessors One—Year Term: Finance Committee Moderator Constable Tree Warden School Committee Finance Committee Board of Health (unexpired term) Park Commission Sewer Commission Sewer Commission (unexpired term) Meantime, please return your census forms and don’t forget to register your dogs! Tom Carter Steve Gougeon x”. , Todd Olanyk _‘ budgets, not individual expenses. Morse agreed to send a letter to all departments and committee chairs asking that they work to remain within approved budgets. Town Refuses Lot Offer Resident realtor Phill Pless is working with Seymour and Patricia Itzkoff who want to withdraw 8 acres of a SOD—acre John Ford Road property from a Chapter 61 forestry management plan as part of an effort to restructure the lot to facilitate a sale. A town has a first right of refusal for property receiving favorable property tax treatment. But the Board decided not to exercise its right noting that there was little advantage. Carter said that the town did not have the “jingle in our jeans to make that happen” even if we wanted to. Fire Station Water Leak A major water leak has created substantial damage to the floor of the fire station and the driveway apron. Morse reported that insurance will cover costs within the station, but not work outside to the street. Local contractors Harris and Gray are ready to perform the remedial work, which is continued on page Chief’s. Corner Mail, Phone and Email Scams Hit Home Another set of scams are afoot in Ashfield. This first one involves bogus fundraisers for local police and sheriff’s departments. The United States Deputy Sheriff’s Association sent letters to area residents claiming to be raising money to supply equipment such as bulletproof vests and body armor to local police and sheriffs’ depart- ments. The letterhead states the money is for the “Ashfield, Massachusetts Area Drive for America’s Police and Sheriff’s Emergency Equipment Shortage.” The Ashfield Police Department is not associated with this fundraiser and we have never received any funding from this organization. This is just a phony solicitation using our Department to deceive well-intentioned people of their hard-earned money. Do not be deceived, this group has nothing to do with the Town of Ashfield, the Police Department or Franklin County Sheriffs. The second scam is an Amazon-related telephone scam. As you know, Amazon receives millions of orders daily.‘The only verification they send to you regarding your order is a confirmation email.- Amazon does not call to confirm when you order something. The recorded call states that you have placed an order and gives you the amount spent, then the message states: “if you have made this purchase on Amazon.com and recognize it, then simply hang up and your order will be delivered to you.”This message then goes on to give you a phone number to call if you did not place the order. If you Ashfield Police As a public service to our community, the Ashfield Police Department publishes a log of our calls for service. The information provided here is considered a public record within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For privacy ‘ and security reasons, we have provided the name of the street we have responded to, but not the house number. Also, to protect the privacy of victims of crimes, we have not included on this log calls of a sensitive nature, such as rape, sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Juvenile calls for service are not published. Tuesday. December 29, 2020 12:02 pm. — MV complaint, report of MV with loud exhaust going up and down Williamsburg Road, spoke with same, will be repairing same Wednesday, December 30, 2020 9:20 am Assisted resident with obtaining contact with environmental police officers, Old Stage Road 10:36 am — Suspicious vehicle, Plainfield Road, past report of MV driving erratically on Plainfield Road and Spruce Corner Road 11:21 am ~ Fraud, Conway Road, mail scam from United States Deputy Sheriff's Association (see Chief's Corner for more information) 11:59 am — Follow up investigation, subject dropping off property at PD for safe keeping 2:49 pm. Article recovered, Apple Valley Road, set of keys turned in to PD, found on roadway Thursday, December 31, 2020 9:58 am. — Report of continuing civil land issue on Pfersick Road, same documented 10:21 am. — 911 hang-up, Main Street, checked same, is issue with phone line, did not dial 911 Saturday. January 2, 2021 1:45 am. — 911 call, Cape Street, static, issue with phone lines 9 10:54 am. — Noise complaint, Main Street, reported neighbor being loud 6:48 pm. — Safety hazard, Conway Road, icy spots reported, State advised Sunday, January 3, 2021 9:59 am. — Burn permit, S. Warger Road, FD approved 12:13 pm. —— Medical emergency, Plainfield Road, fire and EMS responded 6:05 pm. — MV crash, Watson Spruce Corner Road, report of MV into river due to icy road conditions, PD on scene with Fire and EMS, Highway advised of conditions Bath EHdS 0f the “Kid Chain BY PHIL NOLAN in k m”: higfiisgnefnikcr /"t C: A” . 1+5 ohm?~ ' o‘i‘her‘cq . Chief Bezio return this call, they will try to get your personal information! The third scam is coming to us via email. Below is the narrative from a current email scam. If you get an email such as this, please do not fall victim. The request is supposedly from a friend or someone you know, but it is not. Although the email address may be correct, the account has been hacked. As you see in the narrative, the wording is probably different from what your friend or family member would use and there are several spelling and grammatical inaccuracies. Fraud email narrative: am trying to get an Apple gift card formy niece it’s her birthday but i can’t do this now because I’m currently out of town and isolated and i tried purchasing online but unfortunately no luck with that. Can you get it from any store around you? ’11 pay back as soon as i am back. Kindly let me know ifyou can hand? Let me know you can handle this for me so i can let you know what to do with the gift cards once you have them. Am only looking to spend $400Apple gift card on it, ’11 pay back as soon as i get back. Please let me know if you can handle this. Await your soonest response. Best regards, Thanks. If you have fallen victim to any of these scams, please contact the Ashfield Police continued on page 10 Monday, January 4, 2021 7:44 am. -— Medical emergency, West Road, assisted on scene with 'Fire and EMS 1 9:06 am. — Civil issue, received complaint due to civil issue, Pfersick Road 9:08 am. — Civil issue, received update and complaint from second party involved, Pfersick Road 9:59 am. — Burn permit, S. Warger, FD approved Tuesday, January 5, 2021 6:16 am. Report of Breaking and Entering, Baptist Corner Road, found to be Medical Emergency, PD on scene with Fire and EMS Thursday, January 7, 2021 10:38 am. — Assist citizen regarding information for paperwork Friday, January 8, 2021 2:39 pm. — Animal complaint, resident call in regarding questions on dog issues 3:00 pm. — Assisted resident, Main Street, gave information to obtain reports through Massachusetts State Police 8:18 pm. — Disturbance, Main Street, incident handled, report taken Saturday, January 9, 2021 6:06 am. — Medical emergency, Main Street, Fire and EMS on scene 6:22 am. Suspicious vehicle reported, March Road, same found to be paper delivery / Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:29 am. Alarm, Main Street, no issues, false alarm 4:26 pm. Shots fired, area of Apple Valley and Smith Branch, same unfounded 6:58 pm. — Officer wanted, Main Street, report of harassment, investigated Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:00 am. — Report of phone scam, Steady Lane, resident phone number used in scam, same followed up 9:08 am. Assist citizen with out—of-state vehicle concern, Bug Hill Road 7:49 pm. — 911 cell call, Main Street in area of Library, checked area, same unfounded 8:016 p.m. — Suspicious MV, Sanderson Academy, checked same, waiting for other party, no issues Friday, January 15, 2021 ' 9:36 am. —— Scam, phone scam for false police association, same documented, Ludwig Road 9:37 am. — Report of suspicious item, large metal box with lock, Williamsburg Road, Chapel Falls trail, confirmed with Trustees of Reservation that it belonged to them 6:10 pm. — Animal compliant, Norton Hill Road, ACD handled same 6:19 pm. -- DMV reported in area of Brown Road, same found to be in Buckland around Cemetery Road, Buckland PD handled same Saturday, January 16, 2021 9:06 am. — Line down, Apple Valley and Smith Branch tree on lines, road is passable, Eversource advised 11:20 am. — Line down, Baptist Corner and Phillips Road, fuse blown on pole, power company advised 6:04 pm. — Medical emergency, Baptist Corner Road, assisted on scene with fire 7:10 pm. — 911 call, USPS, Main Street, same found to be secure, no one at the building Sunday, January 17, 2021 6:10 am. —- Chimney fire, Creamery Road, Fire Department responded and handled same 6:43 am. MV crash, Spruce Corner Road, MV off road, no injuries 6:51 am. — DMV, Ashfield Mountain Road, reported MV stuck on ice, AAA enroute