Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Town Council gave the thumbs up for to going over the original snow and ice removal budget.
$2,250 That is all that remains from the $959,000 that Watertown officials budgeted for snow plowing this year. Two major snow storms have all but used up Watetown's snow plowing allotment, so Tuesday night the Town Council approved spending beyond the original snow and ice removal budget. Town Manager Michael Driscoll made the request Tuesday night in an last-minute addition to the council agenda. If the town avoids any more snowfall, the Public Works will not be need to plow and the extra money will not be needed. If more snow does fall, however, the town has two options to pay for removing it from town streets and sidewalks, Driscoll said: allow spending beyond the original budget or add the expenses to the Fiscal 2014 budget (next …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Former-Town Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney writes that Watertown should plow private roads, too, to make them safe during an emergency.
Tuesday, March 12
Editor I don’t know why at this particular time of a major storm plowing private ways became an issue. Everyone should have accessibility to their home and street. I understand the superintendent’s position if a private way is in such bad condition that it would be dangerous for plowing. A list of those private ways which are deemed unsafe should be provided so that residents on those streets effected are given notice and some solution can be made. Nothing is absolute! It is an identifiable neighborhood need to have your street plowed. Watertown Firefighters respond to every call whether the emergency is on a private or public way. A very dangerous situation could arise if there is a fire or medical emergency on a street that is not …
Friday, March 8, 2013
State laws appear to prohibit plowing of private ways by the town.
During the Blizzard of 2013, those living on private roads were surprised to see that that town did not plow their roads as they had in most storms. Now it appears they may not be plowed ever again. Watertown officials began researching rules for plowing private ways - roads not owned and taken care of by the town. They found that Massachusetts state law does not allow towns to spend money to remove snow and ice on private roads. Until now, Public Works plows would plow private ways after the storm is over. The reason for doing so is to allow police and fire vehicles and ambulances to access homes on those streets, said Public Works Superintendent Gerald Mee. The rule applies to small to moderate storms, Mee said. On Wednesday, a joint …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Public Works Department's snow dump is full and workers must find a way to store more snow.
The pile of snow at Watertown's snow dump already towers above the fencing, and more snow is on its way this weekend. Public Works Superintendent Gerald Mee said the department will have to get creative at the snow dump, which is located at the old recycling center on Grove Street. "Our snow dump is full after 27 inches of snow (during the blizzard)," Mee said. See a video of the snow dump to the right. Mee hopes the snow forecast for up to a foot of snow this weekend turns out to be overblown. "I watch the weather forecast everyday, hoping for the best," Mee said. "Hopefully the storm will blow out to sea." If the snow does come, Mee said the DPW might have to look at options at the snow dump. "We are looking at possibly bringing in a …
Saturday, February 16, 2013
The issue of plowing private ways cropped up during the Blizzard of 2013, and now the Town Council will tackle it.
The Blizzard of 2013 dumped more than 2 feet of snow on Watertown's streets, but some residents said their street were not made as high a priority as others. Residents of private ways in town complained that the snow was not removed as promptly as past storms. The Town Council will now explore the town's snow plowing policy when it comes to private roadways. The town does not have to repave these roads, but they have removed snow so that ambulances, fire and police vehicles can get to homes on these streets during an emergency. What do you think? Should the town be plowing snow off private streets? Should they get as high priority as other roads in town? Share in the comment section below.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Getting to and from the bus stop proved difficult and even dangerous, writes Karen Wood.
Thursday, February 14
Dear Editor, I am a resident of Watertown who lives on Chapman Street. To go to work, I take the 70 bus down Main Street to Watertown Square, where I then transfer to the 71 bus to Harvard Square. I do the same at night. [Tuesday], I went to my doctor's office at Harvard Vanguard near the Arsenal Mall. This was my experience. I got off the 70 bus on Arsenal Street just in front of those apartment buildings before the mall. The sidewalks in front of the mall were not cleaned. So, I went up a side street where there is a parking lot. Usually there is a gate opening there. No luck. I had to CLIMB a snowbank on my hands and knees (literally) to get to my doctor's office. After the appointment, I went down to the bus stop in front of the mall, …
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The streets of Watertown were swept by members of the Public Works Department — no contractors were called in.
The unusual October snow storm dumped enough snow on Watertown to require street plowing and salting, and Public Works Superintendent Gerald Mee said he was happy with the way his crews handled the wet slushy snowfall. "It was a freak storm," Mee said. "Overall, our ability deal with a storm so early in the year was impressive, and we did it without contractors." Mee called in his workers early on Saturday to prepare for the storm. The biggest frustration was figuring out just how much snow Watertown would get. "The most difficult part of the storm was trying to interpret the many different weather forecasts," Mee said. "Each had a different message." Plow drivers faced some obstacles, such as raised man holes on streets being repaved, …