WESTBOROUGH (CBS) – In Westborough, public works employees spent this week getting ready for Thursday’s storm. “We had the two loaders and the dump trucks out,” said Department of Public Works Assistant Manager Rich Voutas. By around 6:30 Thursday morning, crews will head back out to begin pre-treating roads. “It’s been pretty hectic. It keeps coming. One after another,” he said.
There have been so many storms this winter, the snow removal budget in this town, like others in the area, is at a deficit. “We’re probably at $150,000 and we just got approval today for another 75 thousand in expenses. Hopefully we don’t have to spend it,” he said. “We try to cut down on expenses by using a sand and salt mix, versus using straight salt for the grit and the expense $50 a ton versus $13 a ton for sand,” he explained. The sand also helps with traction on some of Westborough’s hillier streets.
Besides, salt, he said, is proving difficult to get this winter. He ordered 10 loads last week and has only gotten four so far. He went ahead and ordered five additional, just in case. “Replenishing our materials and getting our material here to put back on the ground quick enough so we have enough,” Voutas explained.
To stay ahead of this next storm, DPW workers spent the past couple of days clearing corners at intersections. “We’ve been out with loader crews and dump trucks picking up corners and stuff. When we plow the streets, we plow them to the end and then we push the corners in,” he said. “We need places to put the new snow.” With a threat of rain as well, crews made sure to clear drains to prevent flooding.
“We’ve had no issues getting where we had to be,” said Robin Reynolds, who lives in one of the neighborhood where crews were working Wednesday. “I’ve seen plows going by here all the time (after storms),” Robin’s niece Melanie Borglund added. Both applaud the town’s snow removal efforts, but are ready for the months where they’re no longer necessary. “Tomorrow, we’re ready tomorrow,” Robin said.
Voutas is ready to wrap this winter up, as well. “We have a few in a row now that have been a battle,” he said. “I can’t wait for construction season to start. So, I can get out of this stuff. It’s a battle. It really is.”
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