Storms keep Bridgewater’s snow removal crews busy

Town asks residents not to put snow in streets

To say Bridgewater’s snow removal team has been busy trying to keep streets and sidewalks clear in February is an understatement.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been running around the clock,” said Justin Penny, engineering technician with the Town of Bridgewater, during a February 17 interview two days after the most recent in a string of storms which dumped significant amounts of snow on the town.

“All weekend we worked, [and] all day yesterday, just trying to keep things going, keep stuff open and passable. That’s certainly going to have an impact on our budget.”

During a town council meeting on February 9, the amount of money designated to snow removal was discussed. Through the end of January, the town had spent $227,000 on snow removal, with $167,000 remaining and a reserve of $87,000.

Staff is uncertain how excessive snowfalls this month have affected those numbers.

“I would say this year’s worse than last year, especially that snowfall we had on [February 15]. That was quite significant,” said Mr. Penny, who works with a team of 15 people during snow clearing operations.

“Since the new year since we’ve been hit multiple times. We’ve been working away, but we never seem to get fully caught up.”

He said, aside from a few sidewalks and fire hydrants which needed to be cleared, everything had been opened up as of February 17, although some subdivisions needed further work on decreasing the sizes of snow banks.

“Nothing in town would have caused the schools to be closed. Everything in town was passable this morning.”

However, one of the problems his team was facing was finding places to dump all the snow.

A recent notice from the town asked people not to park in the street during snow storms, or to place snow from private properties on street or sidewalks.

“I can’t speak to the budget part of it but we’re doing everything we can to keep on top of it,” said Mr. Penny.

“We’re trying to keep our guys rested and prepared for the next storm.”

As originally published in LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

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