News Flash


Posted on: September 15, 2023

Town Managers Newsletter - August & September Edition

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Town manager Letterhead

Town Manager, Lyn Simmons

Town Manager's Newsletter

August & September 2023

LongmeadowMA Mobile App is Now Live! The app is now available for the public to download via the Apple and Google Play Stores. Our app, LongmeadowMA, took roughly three months to complete and we are thrilled to share this finished product with the community! LongmeadowMA is an interactive app designed for members of the community to engage with the Town. Stay connected on important news, updates, public meetings and agendas, events, activities and more. Subscribe to newsletters and alerts with NOTIFY ME, for monthly updates on projects, helpful reminders and notifications. Find quick and easy access to bill pay, online forms, FAQs and other department resources. Download at the links above or visit for more information.  

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Emergency Alerts Regarding Springfield Water Line Break As you are likely aware, the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission (SWSC) in the City of Springfield suffered a water main break. This break was in a 36 inch line and caused a catastrophic water issue for the cities of Springfield and Ludlow. This did have a short and minor impact on Longmeadow as our water is supplied by SWSC and we experienced a short low pressure issue on our incoming supply. However, the Longmeadow side of the system maintained adequate pressure and volume and we never lost water. Through the duration of this event, some Longmeadow residents received an emergency alert distributed from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) emergency alerts, stating that a boil water notice was in effect. This MEMA messaging used the Wireless Emergency Alert system, and so was sent to a much broader geographical area than was actually affected by Springfield’s emergency. Understandably, this messaging caused a great deal of confusion for our residents. When we learned how this messaging was going out, we asked MEMA to modify the message or stop using this system as it was not community specific. Unfortunately, our requests were not honored and another incomplete, confusing message was delivered. We have expressed our disappointment to both MEMA and SWSC in how the communication was handled. There is a lot of room for improvement. We strongly encourage residents to sign up or stay signed up for the Town’s reverse 911 CodeRED system. Messages from the Town’s CodeRED only come from town officials and in emergency situations come from the Longmeadow Emergency Management Director.

MVP Grant Award Notice I am very excited to announce that the Town was successful in the latest MVP grant round! We were awarded a grant in the amount of $424,375 for Phase 2 of the Cooley Brook Watershed Improvements Project. The Phase 2 work will carry forward the work that was started in Phase 1 with Community Preservation Act funds to conduct a Hydraulic and Hydrology Study of Cooley Brook. Phase 2 will take place  over FY24 + FY25 and includes the final data gathering tasks of additional hydraulic and hydrology modeling for unstudied parts of the watershed downstream of Bliss and Laurel Parks and the Longmeadow Street culvert, and a Citizen Science water quality sampling program led by Connecticut River Conservancy. Based on the conditions assessed above, engineering consultants will develop an alternatives analysis for streambank restoration and green infrastructure interventions within the watershed. Through robust public outreach and pre-permitting meetings with the Conservation Commission and state and federal regulators, the Town and its consultants will narrow these alternatives down to a final 60% permit level design.   Finally, we are excited to partner with Longmeadow Public Schools on a Citizen Science program  for fourth graders, who will be introduced to the field of  limnology via field trips to Laurel Pond to assess habitat value based on existing conditions. 

This is the second MVP grant award Longmeadow has received. The first grant award for $235,555 was awarded last summer and is funding our ongoing climate resilient Long Range Plan update, municipal DEI audit and strategic plan,  and AARP Age Friendly Designation. Kudos to Assistant Town Manager Corrin Meise-Munns for her work putting this grant application together. Between both MVP grant awards, Corrin’s work has yielded the Town over $650,000! 

Stump Grinding Tree removal and the remaining stumps have been an area of interest for many months/years. There are between two hundred to three hundred stumps that need to be taken care of that have accumulated over the last 10 years. With the start of the new fiscal year and the opportunity to use American Rescue Plan Act funds, the DPW prepared a bid to address the stumps that need to be removed. Originally, DPW was going to start with the oldest location first and move forward from there. However, after reviewing the list and meeting with the contractors, it was determined that a more efficient process would be needed.  Each stump location requires a dig safe mark out. There are two different skill sets required for the work. The first is the stump grinding, this contract was awarded to Northern Tree. The second is the excavation/removal of the wood chip debris, loam and grass seed, this contract was awarded to Arment Construction. Both contractors have to work in unison so there is little-to-no lag time for cleaning up the area and filling the hole. The most efficient way to do this work is to divide the town up into sections. The contractors will go section-by-section. I am pleased to say that significant progress has been made this fiscal year and the backlog of stumps has almost been fully dealt with. Moving forward when trees are cut we will be removing stumps at the same time so the list of stump removal will not continue to grow.

Adult Center and High School Landscaping Recognizing the unmet needs for landscaping work at both the Adult Center and the Longmeadow High School, additional funds were included in the FY24 budget to contract out this work. The DPW prepared a broad scope to solicit quotes for both the LHS and Adult Center landscaping work. Each location has different needs as the Adult Center is a new facility and needs general upkeep, whereas the High School is a matured facility with deferred landscape maintenance and some end-of-life plantings. The areas behind the school, as shown in the below photos are the only areas where overgrown/unmaintained plantings will be removed and seeded with grass (these are the photos abutting the school and the area behind the picnic table in the photo). The areas where there is stainless steel cabling (the photo with the dead tree limb on the ground), as shown in the photo, will be cleaned up and new plantings that vine will be installed (this appears to have been the intended application however either the plantings never took or became so overgrown that they were removed some time ago, it's hard to tell). There are likely some trees that need to come out but that may be done at a different time and/or with a different contractor, as you will see in the photos, the trees are not in good condition. The front of the school around the building area has been cleaned up with no landscaping being removed. The goal is to clean up as much of the landscaping as possible with the available budget. 




Mosquitos With the warm, wet weather this summer the issue of mosquitos is more prevalent. The Town’s Public Health Nurse released the updated Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) numbers as of  9/8/2023. MA DPH reported the third human case of WNV from Hampden County. MDPH reports 108 WNV positive mosquito samples from Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester Counties. Five EEE mosquito samples have been detected in Worcester County. Intensified surveillance in the region is ongoing. No human or animal case of EEE has been detected in Massachusetts so far this year. There are steps that residents can take to help prevent mosquitoes in and around your home and mosquito bites: 

  • Use mosquito repellent any time you are outdoors, such as walking to school or during outdoor sports events and practices. Even being out a short time can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. Make sure to follow directions on the label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used only 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 species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during the evening and early morning. 
  • Use mosquito netting on baby carriages or playpens when your baby is outdoors. 
  • When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors
  •  Make sure screens are repaired and are tightly attached to doors and windows. 
  • Remove standing water from places like ditches, gutters, old tires, wheelbarrows, and wading pools. Mosquitoes can begin to grow in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days, so don’t let water collect around your home. 
  • Cats and dogs can become infected with mosquito-borne illness. You can protect your animals by using veterinary approved products containing permethrin. Talk to your vet if you have questions about these products or if you have concerns about your animals’ health. 

Household Hazardous Waste The Household Hazardous Waste  program that has been in place since 2019 but I want to highlight it as we begin the new fiscal year. The Town has contracted with New England Disposal Technologies (NEDT) to provide residents with a location and program to properly dispose of hazardous waste. The Town will cover up to $50 of disposal costs annually per household (excluding latex paint). The Town is then invoiced for the cost. NEDT Household Hazardous Products Collection Center is located at 190 East Main Street, Westfield, MA. This program is for Longmeadow residents only, no funding will be extended to businesses dropping material at the center. Residents are more than welcome to bring materials that are excess to what is covered by the Town but at their own expense. The NEDT Household Hazardous Products Collection Center for contract period will be open: Mondays and Wednesday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Saturdays 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. For more information, a list of fees and items that are not accepted, please visit

Adult Center Flooding The drainage issue at the Adult Center has been remedied. After exposing the existing drainage, it was determined that some connections had either not been completely fashioned or had become dislodged after settling. Either way, the issue has been fixed and after monitoring the drainage over the last few rain events, it appears to have resolved the problem. We will continue to monitor this and may need to perform some additional storm water drainage work near the gym entrance in the future. With the recent heavy rain events, we did not experience any flooding issues in the gym. 

FEMA Grant Award More incredible grant news… the Town was awarded a FEMA grant through the Assistance to Firefighters Program. This grant was applied for by the Fire Department for two specific program areas. Program One was for the replacement of ten sets of firefighter protective clothing. This includes helmets, boots, hoods, gloves, coats and pants. This award is valued at $ 52,862.00. Program Two is specific to firefighting equipment. In this application they applied for the replacement of the vast majority of fire hose. Most of the firefighting hose has reached end of life or is approaching end of life per the NFPA standard. This aspect of the grant was valued at $ 104,025.00. The total award is $ 156,887.00. This does require a 5% match at $ 7,844.00. Both of these projects would have been a Capital Improvement funding request but with this grant award that is no longer necessary. 

Department of Public Health Statewide Survey I want to call your attention to a statewide survey launched by the Department of Public Health (DPH). Responses to the survey will help inform future state initiatives. DPH is offering Commonwealth residents an opportunity to shape the future health of their communities through a statewide survey aimed at collecting input on the challenges their communities face and where resources should be directed.

DPH’s Community Health Equity Initiative will use the survey findings to build on the state’s efforts to provide access to social and economic opportunities that keep people healthy, like affordable housing, reliable transportation, and nutritious, affordable food. DPH will use the survey results to improve its programs, make decisions about funding and resources, and support policies to improve health inequities. Survey results will be made available to the public and community-based organizations so they can use the findings to better serve community needs. The survey opened July 31, 2023, and it will be available through early fall 2023. Anyone aged 14 and older can take the survey. It takes approximately 15 to 25 minutes to complete. To participate in this online survey, visit

Bay Path University The Town was aware that Bay Path University was exploring the idea of hosting migrant families on the Bay Path campus in direct response to Governor Healey’s State of Emergency Declaration. After careful consideration, preliminary conversations with the Town and State agencies and monitoring this initiative in other places in the Commonwealth, Bay Path determined that migrant families will not be housed on the Bay Path campus. 

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) In reading a Mass Municipal Association newsletter recently, I was made aware of a program to offer assistance with water bills to eligible low income residents. The LIHWAP helps eligible households pay water and sewer bills to restore or maintain access to drinking water and wastewater services and is funded through two federal appropriations. It is administered in the Commonwealth by the Department of Housing and

Community Development (DHCD). Local service delivery is provided by 20 local administering agencies (LAAs) that also administer the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The LAA serving the Longmeadow area is Valley Opportunity Council (VOC) in Holyoke. The LIHWAP is intended to restore service, pay toward arrearages of water and wastewater services, and assist in the reduction of the customers’ rates in the federal fiscal year 2023 (October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023). Residents that were eligible for the FY23 fuel assistance program are eligible for the LIHWAP. Longmeadow has 95 residents who can potentially benefit from this assistance. Eligibility for this program is not determined by the Town of Longmeadow, it is determined by VOC. This program is ending September 30, 2023. DPW has already started working with VOC to identify residents that could benefit. To date, the Town has received $17,820 breaking down to approximately $200 for each qualifying residence.        

Water Quality and Water Infrastructure Work At the last few Select Board meetings there has been public comment related to the Town’s water quality and water supply. Later this fall, the Town’s consultant Tighe & Bond (T&B) will present to the Select Board on the various plans that are under development related to improvements in these areas. Currently, T&B is working on a water pipe replacement study and accompanying utility rate study that will estimate the cost of water main replacement throughout the Town. This report will recognize that replacement will likely need to be done over a 20-30 year timeframe. The study will develop a prioritization plan and make recommendations. Accompanying the pipe replacement study is a utility rate study to model scenarios to fund the work with the associated water rates. T&B will also review and draft updates to the Rules and Regulations Governing the Town of Longmeadow Public Water System and prepare a draft Sewer Use Regulation for review by Town Counsel. Separately, T&B is preparing a water storage tank (WST) analysis which looks at three options for the WST, including replacement of the existing tank with a larger tank or constructing a redundant water storage tank on the same parcel as the existing one. As a reminder, in the summer of 2022, we faced daily water supply concerns due to drought conditions and the demand on the water system. The tank could not fill fast enough to keep up with demand causing concern amongst town staff on whether there would be adequate flow and supply to handle a fire or emergency event. The DPW also has two other water design projects close to finishing up for a generator at the Forest Glen Pump Station and the water line replacement project associated with the Converse Street “L” project. A waterline replacement project for Cooley and Emerson Roads is currently out to bid with construction likely in the spring of 2024. Lastly, the notices residents receive when quarterly water quality testing levels are below MassDEP required amounts naturally trigger concern. Some of what is mentioned above will improve water quality, however the majority of the water quality improvements will come from the upgrades underway at Springfield Water & Sewer Commission (Commission), linked here is information on those improvements. The most recent round of quarterly testing the town conducted showed levels that were at satisfactory, thus not requiring notice to users. Information will be posted on the town website regarding this, along with information explaining that disinfection byproduct levels can fluctuate significantly throughout the year. Despite the wet summer, conditions in Cobble Mountain Reservoir, the Commission’s main drinking water supply, have remained favorable to lower disinfection byproduct formation. Changes in precipitation or seasonal patterns can influence future disinfection byproduct levels, and thus future violations remain possible. The Commission’s 1970s plant was not designed with the filtration capability necessary to meet today’s disinfection byproduct standards, which were last updated in 2012. The Commission will continue to optimize its existing drinking water treatment plant to reduce disinfection byproduct formation to the maximum extent feasible. In addition, the Town of Longmeadow will continue to optimize flushing and other mitigation solutions in its distribution system with the same goal. As a permanent solution, the Commission is currently nearing 90% design completion on a new drinking water treatment plant. The new West Parish Water Treatment Plant will incorporate new treatment technology to resolve issues with disinfection byproducts. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024 and is expected to be completed in mid-2028.

MSBA Middle School Update The Middle School Building Committee (MSBC) voted to contract with Colliers Engineering & Design for a Feasibility Study and Schematic Design and cost estimation. This selection was made after a robust Request for Services process that generated 6 responses from vendors. A sub-committee of the MSBC met to review and rank the proposals and then selected the top 4 submissions for interviews. After interviews, the sub-committee recommended Colliers to the MSBC. This recommendation was confirmed by the MSBC and the selection will now go to the MSBA for review and approval in October. 

Bliss and Greenwood Pools AECOM has completed its design work for Bliss Pool and Greenwood Pools. We now have the cost estimates for the repairs at both pools. The work needed at Bliss is estimated at $870,000 and includes new electrical panels in the filter room, a new pool drainage connection, replacement of the pool pump and addition of a second pump as back-up, cleaning and refurbishment of the sand filters, and new ADA improvements. The work needed at Greenwood is estimated at $220,000 and includes a new pool drainage connection, mechanical and electrical work, replacement of the pool pump and adding a second (to match the approach at Bliss) and cleaning and refurbishment of the sand filters. Both estimates have conservative contingency amounts built in so we are not faced with insufficient funds once we go out to bid. Much of this work can be completed this fall and over the winter/spring, if funding is approved at the Special fall Town Meeting. 

Safe Routes to Schools The Safe Routes to Schools project on Blueberry Hill Road has been delayed. The notice to proceed on this project was issued at the end of July with the understanding that the project would be completed before the start of the school year. This is a MassDOT lead project that the Town applied for in FY2020. The DOT specifications called for a 6-foot-wide "green pigmented concrete sidewalk" on Blueberry Hill Road adjacent to the existing sidewalk.  The new green sidewalk will be for bicyclists and is essentially a shared use path.  The construction delays were related to the contractor being unable to provide a green concrete that matched the specification exactly. Therefore, an alternative green pigment was proposed.  MassDOT required the concrete plant to provide a sample of the alternate, and they decided that compressive testing of the concrete was necessary.  The 7 day test allows the concrete to cure for that period of time and then measure its compressive strength.  The "7-day breaks went well" means it met/passed the strength test. When the mix is ready, the contractor will be working on Blueberry Hill Road with the restricted hours of 9am to 2pm so not to interfere with school drop off and pickup. Milling for the crosswalks is scheduled for September 8 and then any structures that need to be adjusted will be adjusted and paving will take place the following week. We do not have a scheduled date for line striping as of the publishing of this report. The Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) will not be complete by the end of the project date of September 19. There is a shipping delay and the RRFB may not be functioning until October. 

Fire Department With the promotion of Captain Rigney to Deputy Chief there was a vacancy in the Captain position which then cascaded down. I am pleased to inform you that there were two new promotions that became effective on August 20. Lieutenant Carl Viera who has served as our Fire Prevention Officer for the last four years has been promoted to Captain and will serve as the shift commander for "A" Shift. Firefighter Dennis Gardner, who has served as our ALS coordinator has been promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to "A" shift as the second in command and training officer. 

In other Fire Department news, the department had its annual MADPH OEMS inspection in August. This is a comprehensive inspection of the ambulance service. Normally, these inspections find some areas for improvement. In the inspection this week, the department scored perfectly with no suggested improvements. Besides Chief Dearborn, Carl Viera and Dennis Gardner are instrumental in keeping this aspect of the service running so efficiently and deserve the bulk of the credit. The entire department prepared for the inspection meticulously, resulting in these outstanding results. 

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee

DEI Committee and Survey

Upcoming Topics and Events

  • Longmeadow Pride Festival - Sunday, September 17 - Longmeadow Town Green
  • The deadline to submit articles and/or Citizen Petitions is September 22, 2023. Visit for additional information)
  • Town Offices Closed for Indigenous Peoples Day, October 9, 2023
  • Fall Special Town Meeting - Tuesday, November 7 - LHS Gymnasium 7 PM

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