SOUTH HADLEY — During its Selectboard meeting on May 21, the group discussed the new process for approving opioid funds and approved a new trash and recycling contract.

At Town Meeting on May 8, residents approved disabling the Opioid Stabilization Fund and transfer the funds to a special fund.

Last year, Town Meeting voted to approve the Opioid Stabilization Fund and since then the state has passed a law that will allow the town to receive and spend funds more efficiently.

The funds must be spent under the same guidelines but will not require a Town Meeting vote every time they are used and can come in front of the Selectboard instead.

Town administration can propose and intake proposals with a page on the website and rolling application process. Requests can be brought to the Selectboard for approval.

There is also an opioid committee that can regularly monitor, make recommendations and reports to the Selectboard.

Selectboard Chair Andrea Miles said it would be similar to the American Rescue Plan Act fund process and “be able to approve expenditures of the opioid fund on a roll in basis.”

The town has agreed to various settlements, which will provide more than $1.2million in settlement funds in total. As of May 2024, South Hadley has received $321,872.

The amount varies per year based on the settlements but should be anywhere from $60,000 to over $100,000 per year until 2038.

The Selectboard went over how the funds can be used including opioid use disorder treatment, supporting people in treatment and recovery, connections to care, harm reduction, addressing the needs of criminal-justice-involved persons and prevention education.

Hampshire Hope is also running a survey to ask questions related to the opioid epidemic and figure out strategies to address it.

Hampshire Hope is the region’s countywide coalition focused on the impact of opioid use and work with Hampshire County communities and share its results to help.

Selectboard member Carol Constant added that this survey will be available the town website and gives people in South Hadley a chance to have a say in how Hampshire Hope might use some of the program money.
The Selectboard moved to discussing an updated contract they received from Republic Services.

The town has been discussing a change to its trash and recycling pickup method for a couple months with their current contract with Republic Services due to expire on June 30.

Town Administrator Lisa Wong and DPW Director John Broderick have said that South Hadley’s current manual pickup and pay as you throw is changing to automated pickups that involve carts so that the arm attached to the truck can pick up the cart and dump it into the truck.

Wong said this is a big transition but inevitable based on the trash industry.

Broderick said that from July 1 to June 30, 2025, South Hadley will still have the green bag system while the town works on purchasing and assembling 13,200 carts.

At its April 16 meeting, the board adopted a new automated trash removal system to replace the current pay-as-you-throw system and adopted an annual fee for fiscal year 2025 at $225.

Residents currently pay a $125 annual trash fee, plus the expense of buying green bags at a grocery store.
The contract also includes the conversion of recycling collections to single stream collections upon the conclusion of the Town’s dual stream recycling process which expires June 30, 2025.

The Selectboard officially approved the new six-year contract with Republic Services that will run until June 30, 2030.

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