National Grid finished their make ready work in May 2020, two months ahead of schedule. They replaced 108 poles and moved wires on all the poles in town.
Verizon has finished their make ready work of moving wires on all utility poles as of October 21, 2020.
Axia/KCST and their subcontractor Phoenix have completed all of their make ready work to move middle mile lines for MBI along portions of Route 9 as of November 5, 2020.
Project engineer inspection ride outs by Westfield Gas & Electric, as well as both National Grid & Verizon began in tandem on November 16, 2020 and were completed on December 2, 2020. This work is to verify that all the work done by National Grid & Verizon was done to regulatory and project engineering specifications. Any deficiencies that are found will be documented and then have to be corrected by the utility companies. Timeline for completion of corrective action will be determined after the scope of the corrective actions required are detailed, and agreed to, in the combined inspection reports from Westfield Gas & Electric, National Grid and Verizon. Some remediation work will begin immediately on December 4, 2020 while the overall inspection report is completed.
Fiber construction build out will begin after completion of all the above tasks including any remediation work that is required after inspections are completed.
Further updates to this post will be made as new developments occur.
As we get closer to completing the above items there will be announcements about enrollment periods for fiber to the home service and the process to follow as well as costs, subsidies, and policies.
This 2021 DRAFT update of Goshen’s Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) is available for public review and comment until December 25, 2020, before final revisions will be made and the plan sent to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation for review and approval. Please email the project manager, Emily Slotnick, email@example.com during this timeframe to offer any feedback or ask questions regarding this project.
This OSRP update assesses the current status of recreation and conservation lands in Goshen and identifies community needs based on a set of goals and objectives developed through a public participation process. The final plan will guide Town decisions about open space and recreation management and growth over the next seven years.
The Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) was developed by the Goshen Open Space Committee with assistance from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
Information on the Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) 2021 DRAFT update can be viewed, downloaded, or printed here:
Would you like to stay informed about what is going on in Goshen via the Town News & Announcements section of the web site?
To receive emails regarding updates that are posted to Town News & Announcements, you can sign up for postings on any or all of the categories below. The frequency of the emails will likely be either weekly or bi-weekly. You will only receive 1 email per category.
Votes & Election News
Goshen Municipal Light Plant [postings concerning broadband & the fiber optic network]
Town News & Announcements [You will be notified of all postings in all categories. If you select this option there is no need to select any of the individual options above.]
The Highway Department completed site preparation work in early November for the placement of the Network Hut and the backup generator.
The Hut will contain all of the electronic brains for controlling the fiber optic network and was delivered, together with the backup generator, on Monday, November 23.
National Grid needs to bring electric service to the hut. Then, electricians will need to do the wiring connections into the hut and out to the generator.
After all of the above tasks are completed, the components required to operate the fiber optic network will be installed and tested by Westfield Gas & Electric in preparation for the construction of the distribution network.
Updates on these processes will be posted as they are accomplished.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Westfield Gas & Electric have partnered with some hilltowns to temporarily offer a high speed internet connection at a central location in each participating town. This connection will offer speeds of up to 200 MBPS for up to 15 concurrent connections. In Goshen, that Wi-Fi connection has been installed at the Town Office building. This connection will be available through June 30, 2021, depending on the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The necessity for extending this access will be determined by the state towards the end of 2020.
When utilizing parking lot Wi-Fi, you must practice all current Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines for SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCING (MassDPH Social Distancing Guidelines).
Goshen Town Office & Town Hall – Connect to either:
Park in the lot in front of the Town Office and along the side of the Town Hall.
In addition to public Wi-Fi availability in the parking lot next to the Goshen Town Hall & Town Office, the following schools in our area have provided Wi-Fi capabilities to the exterior of buildings. This availability will continue until it is required internally at the schools. Individual schools will be removed from this list when availability ends.
Anne T. Dunphy School in Williamsburg – Connect to: BURGY-Guest
Park along the curb in the front of the building.
Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton – Connect to: HRSD-Guest
Park along any side of the building, except for the back parking lot area.
New Hingham Regional Elementary School in Chesterfield – Connect to: NHRES-Guest
Park along the sidewalk in FRONT of the school between the cafeteria door and the Pre-School entrance.
R.H. Conwell School in Worthington – Connect to: RHCCEC-Guest
Park along the curb in the front of the building.
Westhampton Elementary School – Connect to: WES-Guest
Park along the sidewalk directly in front of the school in between the main entrance and the corner of the building closest to the parking lot.
William E. Norris School in Southampton – Connect to: NORRIS-Guest
Park along the curb in the front of the building between the main office and the pre-school entry, or park in the spaces along Gunn Rd. Ext., or park directly behind the school closest to the art/music hallway entry at the far end of the parking lot.
This project is funded through the MassDOT Complete Streets program and will include some widening, repaving and pavement marking for a pedestrian lane along 1,700 feet of East Street, beginning at the intersection with Route 9.
Sealed bids will be opened on December 4, 2020, at the Town Office.
The project is anticipated to begin mid- April, 2021 and be completed by June 30, 2021.
A project schedule, with dates and times when work on East Street will be performed, is anticipated to be posted in early Spring of 2021.
*Update 11/9/20: There will not be a Post-Election Tabulation Session today as no additional ballots were received between 8pm November 3rd and 5pm November 6th.
There will be a Post-Election Tabulation Session on Monday, November 9th, 2020 at 9:30am in the John James Memorial Hall, 42 Main Street. This session will count all ballots postmarked on or before November 3, 2020 and received by 5pm on Friday, November 6th for the General Election. Observers must wear a mask and should maintain 6 feet of distance from the poll workers for the safety of all parties. If you have any questions, please contact Town Clerk Kristen Estelle: firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-268-8236 x107.
The Selectboard will conduct a public hearing on Monday, November 9, 2020 at 4:30 pm in the Town Offices to determine whether all real property should continue to be taxed at a single rate for Fiscal Year 2021. The board has an option to choose a single rate or a two-tiered tax rate. The Board of Assessors will recommend a single rate.
If you see something you might be interested in contact the chair of that board or committee. The chair will be listed on the website page for that board or committee and they can provide details of the skills needed, the time involved, and the frequency and duration of their meetings. You may want to attend 1 or 2 meetings to see how things operate. If you wish to see who else is on the committee, the web page for each committee and board lists the current members and when their terms expire.
After you have had a conversation with the chair and you feel comfortable about proceeding you will need to contact the Select Board office to schedule a time to meet with the Select Board to consider your nomination for an appointment.
274 Vote by Mail ballots have been mailed out to those who requested them; 129 have been returned. Vote by Mail applications are due by 5pm on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020. As a reminder, VBM ballots can be returned through the mail, via the ballot drop box on the outside of town offices, or dropped off during the remaining in person early voting hours. You can track your VBM ballot here: www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/track/trackmyballot.aspx
Voting early in person was a popular choice for voters the past 3 days, with 69 choosing to do so. There is still time to vote early in person: Sat. 10/24 2-4pm, Sun. 10/25 2-4pm, and Mon. 10/26 9am-3pm and 6pm-8pm. Please wear a mask, use hand sanitizer when entering, and maintain social distancing. You may bring your own writing implement, if you wish.
Then there’s Election Day itself on November 3rd, 7am-8pm. Same rules re: mask, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and option to bring your own pen/pencil. Important: no hats, pins, shirts, stickers, signs or any other item endorsing a candidate or question may be worn or visibly held in a polling place or within 150’ of the polling location. If you are seen with any of these items, you will be asked to remove them or turn your shirt inside out before you can vote.
Contact Town Clerk Kristen Estelle with any questions or concerns: email@example.com, 413-268-8236 x107.
The Goshen Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.
The Goshen Cultural Council would like to hear from Goshen residents about the types of programs and events that it should fund during the next grant cycle.
In addition, the Council is seeking applications from organizations, schools, and individuals for grants that support arts, humanities, and science programs in the community, including exhibits, festivals, school field trips, performances, workshops, concerts, and lectures. Applications are due November 16.
Last year, the Goshen Cultural Council distributed over $5,700 in grants to fund several projects for the benefit of local schools and other organizations and to support local artists in the hilltowns. Although many of those projects had to be postponed due to Covid 19, we are hopeful that they can be rescheduled during next year.
We invite local artists and presenters to consider applying for grants. Please contact Nancy Wood at 413-268-7973, if you have any questions about the online application process. The Goshen Council is ready to assist applicants, particularly those applying for the first time. Application forms and more information about the Local Cultural Council Program are available online at www.mass-culture.org.
These Hilltown CDC programs are available to residents of the Towns of Ashfield, Blandford, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery, Plainfield, Williamsburg and Worthington.
The Hilltown Food Bucks Program offers coupons or “bucks” for low to moderate income families to use while shopping at select locations. Information, application and a contact for this program can be found at: Hilltown Food Bucks Information & Application.
Update 10/5/20: The Vote by Mail ballots have arrived! Today I mailed all 269 ballots out to those who have requested them so far. If you requested one, you can expect it in your mailbox any day now.
Once you receive your vote by mail ballot, and have filled it out and sealed it in the signed envelope, you may return your ballot the following ways:
Send by mail (postage paid)
Place it in the newly installed ballot drop box at the top of the stairs to the left of the door of the Town Offices, 40 Main St. There are security cameras and Gina and I will be checking and emptying the box daily.
Bring it into the town hall during the in person early voting hours (Saturday, Oct. 17th 2-4pm, Sunday, Oct. 18th 2-4pm, Monday, Oct. 19th 9-3 and 6-8, Saturday, Oct. 24th 2-4pm, Sunday, Oct. 25th 2-4pm, Monday, Oct. 26th 9-3 and 6-8), drop your ballot in the box, and exit the building.
A quick reminder of how your early vote by mail or early in person ballot is processed:
All ballots will be processed and put into the ballot box on election day. That day, the warden takes your ballot around the room as if she were you, voting. She reads your name and address at Check In, and slits open the manila envelope you signed that contains your ballot. She then brings your ballot to the Ballot Box and feeds it in, just as you would if you were there. Your ballot is never opened until it is hand counted with the hundreds of other ballots after polls close. No one will know how you personally voted. The ballots you mail back are safely under lock and key until they are given to the warden on election day.
Please contact Town Clerk Kristen Estelle with any questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-268-8236 x107.
Residents will be asked to wear masks, use hand sanitizer and maintain social distancing in the town hall while they go about the process of casting their votes.
We recognize that people feel strongly about their candidates and ballot questions, but the polling place is a protected place for all voters. No hats, pins, shirts, stickers, sign or any other item endorsing a candidate or question may be worn or visibly held in a polling place or within 150’ of the polling location. If you are seen with any of these items, you will be asked to remove them or turn your shirt inside out before you can vote.
In addition to in person early voting, Saturday October 24th is the last day to register to vote for the November 3rd General Election, between 2-4pm and 6-8pm. Assistant Town Clerk Gina Papineau will be available to register new voters that day.
Please contact Town Clerk Kristen Estelle with any questions or concerns: 413-268-8236 x107, email@example.com.
Many Goshen voters decided to vote early by mail or in person for the Sept. 1st Primary & Town Override. I wanted to clear up some confusion about early voting.
• All ballots, for both the state primary and town override, will be processed and put into the ballot box on election day. That day, the warden takes your ballots around the room as if she were you, voting. She reads your name and address at Check In, slits open the manila envelopes you signed that contain your ballots, and for the State Primary, tells the Check In person which party ballot you filled out (Democrat, Republican, Green/Rainbow, Libertarian). She then brings both of your ballots to the Ballot Box and feeds them in, one at a time, just as you would if you were there. Your ballots are never opened until they are hand counted with the hundreds of other ballots after polls close. No one will know how you personally voted. We do, however, record which party ballot you filled out on the Check In sheet because the state requires it. We need to know how many ballots of each party were filled out. The ballots you mailed back are safely under lock and key until they are given to the warden on election day.
• Want to know the status of your mail in ballot? The state has a nifty tracker: www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/track/trackmyballot.aspx. As of this morning, my assistant Gina and I have mailed out 406 ballots for the September 1st/ Town Override election. We have entered all requests and all the ballots we’ve received back so far. The tracker will reflect the current status of your ballots.
• Fun stats: 203 Goshen voters applied for and were mailed ballots so far for September, and 62 voted early in person this past Saturday- Monday, for a total of 265. That’s 35% of our 767 voters! Astounding for a primary. Great work, Goshen. We also look forward to seeing those of you who wish to vote on election day itself, September 1st, from 7am-8pm. Please wear a mask, use hand sanitizer when entering, and maintain social distancing. You may bring your own writing implement, if you wish.
If anyone has any questions or concerns, please contact Town Clerk, Kristen Estelle: firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-268-8236 x107.
Requests for Proposals for the construction of Goshen’s fiber optic network were released May 6.
Competitive bids were received on May 22. Bids were reviewed and analyzed by the project engineering team at Westfield Gas & Electric for any errors, omissions or questions and to verify they complied with the RFP documentation.
After thorough review by Westfield Gas & Electric and the MLP Manager, over the next several weeks, the recommendation was made to award the contract to TriWire Engineering as the lowest qualified bidder. The bid came in at $522,000 which was approximately $200,000 under the estimated cost. Triwire Engineering will also be doing the network construction in Cummington and Chesterfield and they have a proven construction record. They are a Massachusetts based employee owned company with over 900 employes that was started in 1999.
An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) was drawn up and signed in June, to formalize the contract for fiber optic network construction in Goshen, between Westfield Gas & Electric, TriWire Engineering and the Town of Goshen.
Construction will begin after all utility company make ready work is completed.
Further updates to this post will be made as new developments occur.
Click on Capital Projects, then Broadband for the current project timeline.
Once a year, the HRMC holds a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Event for residents of the HRMC member communities. The 2020 event will take place on Saturday, October 24, 9 a.m. until noon, in Westhampton.
Pre-registration is required for this event and will take place from October 1-October 18. Residents are asked to email the HRMC with their name, address (Street and Town), and phone number. HRMC confirmation of your reservation (done via email) is required to participate.
If you are unable to print an application, you may request an early ballot by writing a letter to your Town Clerk (40 Main St. Goshen, MA 01032). Be sure to include your name and address, the election for which you are requesting a ballot, and your signature. If you need the ballot mailed somewhere other than your home, be sure to provide that address.
The application can be submitted in person, by mail, fax or email. Please allow ample mailing time for this application and for the ballot. Ballots must be returned to the town clerk by Election Day. Please contact Town Clerk Kristen Estelle with any questions: email@example.com, 413-268-8236 x107.
The last day to register to vote for the annual town election is Wednesday, July 22nd from 2-4pm and 7-8pm.
State grant monies originally provided Goshen with $770,000 as partial funding for Goshen’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) town-owned network. In addition, the town voted to borrow up to $1.4 million to cover the remaining costs of building the town’s FTTH network.
“Make-ready” costs have far exceeded the estimates from the initial project cost assessment. (“Make-ready” costs are what the town must pay the utility companies to replace poles and move lines on poles, in order to meet current regulatory standards for additional network equipment and fiber.) The original make-ready project cost estimates were $550,000 and were included in the total state grant monies of $770,000 indicated above. The current make-ready project costs will likely total $1.3 – $1.4 million dollars, far exceeding the earlier estimates.
The original make-ready cost projections were created using computer modeling, without actual visits to the towns. While make-ready projections were accurate for many towns, Goshen’s were not, as computer modeling could not forecast the large amount of work required for utility companies to bring Goshen’s infrastructure into compliance with current standards. The town and the state have worked together to obtain extra grant monies to cover the $750,000 – $850,000 make-ready funding gap. The state has already approved additional grant funding monies to the town with an initial supplemental of $532,337; and, the state has agreed to provide additional grant monies to cover the rest of the make-ready funding gap at project completion.
See the chart below for revised funding sources and totals as of December 2019:
State Grant Funds
CAF II FCC AWARD
Professional Services Allocation
(original state grant award monies)
(original state grant award monies)
Supplemental Make Ready Funds recently provided by the State to the Town
Potential Additional Make Ready Funds available at project true-up
(see #1 below)
CAF II – Federal FCC grant monies award obtained through partnership with Westfield Gas & Electric
(see #2 below)
Current Municipal Contribution via debt exclusion authorization
Items highlighted in green are new grant monies awarded to the Town in December 2019, totaling $971,545.
1) The final amount awarded is dependent on the actual make ready billed amounts after project completion. If the final excess make ready costs are larger or smaller, the amount will be adjusted accordingly.
2) These monies are provided in equal 1/10 disbursements over the 10 years following project completion. Funds are conditional upon meeting some federal reporting & other requirements.
Pursuant to special legislation relating to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declared by Governor Baker, the Goshen Select Board is giving notice of its intention to consider an adjustment to the quorum requirements for all town meetings until the Public Health Emergency is declared over by Governor Baker.
Town Clerk Kristen Estelle reminds residents that the late fee for dog licenses goes into effect June 1st, 2020. The late fee is $25 per dog on top of the license fee.
To obtain a 2020 dog license, please mail the following: a completed dog license form (found on the town clerk page of the Goshen website: www.goshen-ma.us), current rabies certificate indicating that the dog is spayed or neutered (if that’s the case); check made payable to the Town of Goshen ($5 per spayed or neutered dog; $10 per intact dog) and a stamped, self-addressed envelope (2 stamps for multiple licenses). We may already have a current rabies certificate on file for your dog; feel free to call or email before you mail everything in (268-8236 x107, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hilltown Pantry, a program of Northampton Survival Center, is open for food distribution every Wednesday from 1-3 p.m.
Residents of Goshen who are having difficulties accessing enough groceries for their household are welcome to use the pantry.
Free, prepacked bags of shelf-stable food items along with fresh produce, frozen meat, and dairy products are available for drive by pick up in the town hall parking lot.
Staff and volunteers wearing masks and gloves will load the food supplies into your car. We ask that you stay in your car if possible and that you wear a mask when speaking with anyone.
If you wish to arrange for home delivery please contact Evelyn Culver at 413-268-3316.
Goshen residents may also, alternatively, choose to access food through the Northampton Survival Center’s temporary drive by pick up site at the Jackson Street School, 120 Jackson Street, Northampton from 12-3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday or Friday every week.
Hotel/Motel & Short Term Rental restrictions: As part of the updated essential business list, DPH issued new guidance today around hotels, motels, inns, beds and breakfasts and other short-term residential rentals. Based on this new guidance, hotels, motels, and short-term rentals may only be used for efforts related to fighting COVID-19, like front line health workers or individuals, or for Massachusetts residents who have been otherwise displaced from their residences.
Those found in violation of these restrictions may be fined $300 per day.
Click here for the full text of the restrictions issued by Massachusetts.
Pay particular attention to sections 2, 3a, 3b, & 4g.
Recently, you should have received a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau, inviting you to go online to respond to the 2020 federal Census.
The U.S. Census counts every person in the country every 10 years. The information gathered through the census is used to decide how much our communities get in state and federal money for things like public health, transportation, and education.
The census is quick, easy, and important, and all of your answers are confidential.
The Towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, and Worthington are collaborating with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), residents, and stakeholders on strategies to reduce vulnerability and adapt to our changing climate through the State’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program. The core directive of the MVP program is to engage community stakeholders to facilitate the education, planning, and ultimate implementation of priority climate change adaptation actions. Completion of the MVP planning process will enable the Towns to receive preference for future state grants.
The MVP grant also requires each town to engage the public on climate resilience. Given current COVID-19 social distancing guidance, we are unable at this time to hold a public meeting on the subject. Instead, we are asking all Goshen residents to do two things:
Beginning in January 2020, and continuing for the next six months, National Grid and their subcontractors will be doing tree trimming around all of the utility company poles and wires in preparation for the build out of the fiber optic network that is to begin later this year.
National Grid, or their subcontractors, will be going door to door to obtain permission to do this tree trimming. Please assent to their request and ask them to do “heavy” trimming as this will result in the most effective protection against future utility company and fiber optic line damage from overarching branches.
Please communicate this message to your family, friends and neighbors who live in Goshen and refer them to the Recent Announcements section of the Goshen home page to see this entire message.
Absentee voting is now available for the March 3rd Presidential Primary. Eligible absentee voters are those who will not be in town on the day of the election, or cannot vote in person due to physical disability or religious belief. The application may be filled out in the town clerk’s office, or can be found online on the Secretary of State website: www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee/English-Absentee-Ballot-Application.pdf . Once the application is approved, residents may vote in the office or have the ballot mailed to them.
Early voting is also available for this election! Take advantage by coming to vote at the John James Memorial Hall, 42 Main Street, on Monday, February 24th from 9am to 3pm and 6pm to 8pm. Unlike absentee voting, no application is needed. The deadline to register to vote in this election, whether it be absentee, early or regular, is Wednesday, February 12th from 2-4pm and 7-8pm. Contact Kristen Estelle with any questions: 413-268-8236 x107, email@example.com.
2020 dog licenses are in! The 2019 dog licenses expire on March 31st, 2020. Neutered/ spayed dogs are $5 each; intact dogs are $10. A dog licensing form can be found on the Town Clerk page of this website, which you can use to register your dogs by mail or in the town clerk’s office on Mondays 9-3 and 6-8. Contact Kristen Estelle with any questions: 413-268-8236 x107, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Town of Goshen, MA is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Highway Equipment Operator & Laborer. This individual performs skilled and semi-skilled work operating heavy and light equipment used for construction, maintenance and repair of streets, sidewalks, bridges, fences, culverts, catch basins, and storm drains, as well as snow and ice removal in the winter.
Both a full time & a part time position are available. The full-time position is a forty (40) hour per week benefited position, with overtime possible during the winter. For the part-time position will consider workers without all licenses who are actively, or soon will be, pursuing their licenses. Hourly compensation is $20 to $25 commensurate with experience. Minimum three (3) years road construction experience is preferred. The successful applicant must have a Class B CDL license, Medical DOT Card, 2A Hoisters License. Pre-employment drug test required. Posting will be active until position is filled. AA/EEOE
Do you love animals? Would you like to intervene when they have gone astray or help protect them from cruelty? The Town of Goshen Select Board is seeking qualified applicants for a part-time, on call position of Animal Control Officer. The Animal Control Officer is responsible for enforcing ordinances relating to animal safety. This includes responding to and investigating calls and complaints from residents relating to animal issues such as unleashed dogs, dog attacks, stray animals, animal cruelty and working with the animal owner to ensure they comply with all animal ordinances and policies. This is a part-time, on-call, ad-hoc position where call times and activity vary. You receive an annual stipend to be on call throughout the year. You only respond when there is a call from a concerned resident. Prefer prior experience with animals and demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgement in sensitive situations with animal owners.
Completion of the Animal Control Officers Association of Mass Academy preferred; required within two years of hire and completion of the Massachusetts Animal Fund ACO Core Competency Training required within 1 year