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Winter weather alters plans for snow removal

Situation 'unique' as snow continues to pummel area

Thomas Creamer. (click for larger version)
January 30, 2011
STURBRIDGE — Officials were hoping for at least a moderately smooth transition after beginning enforcement of the town's snow removal bylaw — but Mother Nature had other plans.

Several inches of snow fell Thursday morning, Jan. 27, and challenged crews from the Department of Public Works, which had recently requested the town to deficit spend in order to keep up with one major storm after another. The snow was wet and heavy Thursday, and with limited places to put the snow due to past storms, MassDOT crews wound up clearing it onto sidewalks along Routes 20 and 131.

Making matters worse, some property owners, who had already cleared the snow from their sidewalks early Thursday morning in accordance with the bylaw, were irritated after returning to their properties hours later and finding the sidewalks filled with snow yet again.

As a result, Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski and DPW Director Greg Morse agreed to ask DPW crews to assist owners in removing snow from sidewalks.

"The number of snowstorms we have encountered over the last 18-day period has created a unique situation in terms of sheer volume, thereby necessitating an equally unique response by the town administrator and DPW director," said Board of Selectmen Chairman Thomas Creamer. "Recognizing the challenges faced by abutters in addressing the magnitude of snow being displaced by heavy equipment, Shaun and Greg are trying to provide as much assistance as both feasibly and financially possible, while still addressing significant challenges faced town-wide on our roads."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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