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DPW cautious as weather shows signs of change

February 23, 2011
STURBRIDGE — As February draws to a close, town officials are hoping winter doesn't have any last minute blizzards in store.

One of the snowiest Januarys on record caused the town to not only deficit spend twice in order to allow the DPW to keep pace with the precipitation, but also required the use of DPW crews to help abutters of Routes 20 and 131 clear their sidewalks.

As of Monday, Jan. 24, Sturbridge began enforcing section 9.02 of its bylaws, which states property owners must remove ice and snow from sidewalks within 24 hours of the completion of a snowstorm. The Board of Selectmen had initially set the enforcement date for Jan. 15, but members of the board wanted to ensure that abutters were given a minimum of 30 days advance notice in order to make the necessary preparatory arrangements.

Then came a massive nor'easter on Jan. 27, which forced the town to ask DPW crews to assist abutters in the removal of large amounts of snow and ice from sidewalks. And while the snow removal bylaw was never lifted or altered, the inordinately snowy January caused many officials to contemplate revising the bylaw to include more flexible language.

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

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