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Tornado frustrations aired at Town Council meeting

'I can't find any more excuses or answers for people'

December 21, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — The agenda item was about buying a street sweeper at the Town Council meeting Monday, Dec. 19, but it rapidly turned into venting about the slow pace of dealing with downed trees and water problems related to the June 1 tornado.

Instead of borrowing most of the $172,000 for the sweeper, Brookside Road resident Dan Butler urged the Council to use the money to "buy chippers and rent them out to Monson and Brimfield," plant trees, and reimburse homeowners from the cost of building permits. He noted the town could make some money selling the chips to various mills or wood-burning power plants, or use it to heat town buildings.

Butler's concerns sparked an outpouring of frustration from Council Chairman Cathy Nikolla in support of his views. Among other things, she took DPW Director Thomas Daley to task, saying she wants to see his department focus on solving tornado-related tree, road and drainage problems as a higher priority than doing work in other neighborhoods of town.

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

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