In the month of February we have seen a blizzard, 2 massive snow storms dropping nearly a foot of snow and 4 straight weekends with a significant snowstorm. The snow has caused mayhem in the Boston area and repeatedly closed schools and businesses across the state. DPW or roadway departments and cleanup crews have been working nonstop throughout New England over the last few weeks. Recently DPW Director of Hopkinton, John Westerling gave HCAM news an update on the current status of snow cleanup in Hopkinton.
Westerling mentioned during a typical snowstorm 45 pieces of equipment are used which includes DPW equipment and private contractors. Due to the record snowfall, DPW workers and independent contractors through the recent days have worked through the night to clear sidewalks, push snow off of streets, clean up public parking lots and eliminate dangerous snow mounds. Throughout the last few nights a full compliment of equipment has been out to remove snow from the downtown area, schools, fire and police parking lots and other public parking areas.
John also mentioned that due to the record amount of snowfall extra money had to be spent on snow removal; "town meeting last year, appropriated $350,000 for snow and ice removal and we exceeded that." In accordance with Mass general laws, the DPW received permission to overspend the appropriated budget on snow and ice removal. "I would say that the difficult part has been the continuous effort" Blizzard Juno dropped 31 inches of snow and the following weekend 16 more inches of snow fell followed by a couple smaller storms. Westerling emphasized the most difficult part has been keeping up with the snow due to the continuous storms that have occurred. "it's just compound the effort and makes you go back to square one with snow plowing, treating the roads, widening intersections, widening roads, removing the snow." Westerling did not know the exact amount that has been spent on snowfall removal so far due to incoming invoices from independent contractors.
Westerling praised the hard work the DPW and cleanup crews have put in throughout the record setting snowfall; "Hopkinton is blessed with a dedicated and committed crew at the department of public works, the highway, water and sewer departments, those gentlemen have been working long hours and are dedicated to providing the best service to the community making the roads safe, navigable and just doing the best they can for the community."
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