Is Your Property Ready for Plowing this Winter?
Hopefully we will get to enjoy a beautiful fall and this winter will not be a repeat of what we experienced two years ago. But just in case here are some tips and information to make sure that you are ready when the plow trucks are off and running.
- Mailboxes - The U.S. Postal Service recommends that mailboxes be at least 41" (inches) above the ground and 6 to 8" from the curb, and installed with a sturdy post. Making sure that you meet these guidelines will help allow our snowplows to pass below the box, especially if it is away from the road surface. The Town has a policy to reimburse property owners for mailboxes damaged only if directly hit by a plow.
- Fences and sprinkler heads- residents are reminded that they should not have fences or sprinkler system heads in the Town's Right-of-Way (ROW) along any road. The ROW is defined as a strip of land on either side of a road that is owned by the Town. The ROW is there so that the town has an area to store snow in the winter, or to locate utilities or any other activity that it must do. The ROW is often 28 to 50 feet wide. Residents with plantings, fences or sprinkler heads in this area are strongly recommended to relocate them. Contact the Department of Public Works (DPW) at 508-529-3067 if you have a question about the ROW on your street.
- Driveway plowing - the Town's general bylaws do not allow for snow to be plowed or blown back into the street. Title Three (Land Use), Chapter Five (Snow Obstructing Public Ways) prohibits this practice, which in extreme conditions can result in a $25 fine per occurrence. The purpose of this bylaw is to keep our streets clear, especially after the plow truck has passed by. For residents who have a private contractor clear their driveways, please remind them of this provision.
- Snowplow Operations - depending on the conditions, the Town sends its trucks out on the roads when we have approximately two inches of snow on the roads. We utilize a combination of our own staff and equipment, and hired contractors on sixteen different plow routes. On average, all the plow routes take approximately four hours to complete each time they go out. The Town uses our own trucks for sanding and salting roads, and that takes approximately two hours per rotation.
- Fire Hydrants - A fire hydrant can help save lives and property in your neighbourhood. The DPW is requesting residents to assist the Town in keeping fire hydrants clear of snow which are located in front their home.
- Catch Basins - Catch Basins can prevent flooding in your neighbourhood. The DPW is requesting residents to assist the Town in keeping catch basin clear snow which are located in front their property.
- Trash Barrels - Many residents have had their trash and recycling barrels badly damaged or even lost during severe winter storms. When it snows, please place your barrels at the end of your driveway, facing the street, and not in the street!
- Parking- Upton's winter parking ban is in effect. The ban prohibits on street parking between the hours of 1 am to 6 am from November 1 through April 1. The Town also prohibits parking of any vehicle on a town road from the start of a snow or ice storm until 12 hours after the storm ends. The Town is authorized to have any car towed that is obstructing snow removal operations.
- Sand - Sand mixed with salt is available for residents' use at the DPW located at 100 Pleasant Street. Residents are limited to one 5-gallon container per trip.
- Child Safety - Children love to make snow forts along the edge of the roads, but this is potentially very dangerous because our plow operators cannot see the children. Visibility is difficult even in the best conditions, so we ask that you please keep your children away from the roads during snow removal!
We are very aware of the frustration residents have when a plow truck comes by and deposits snow back into driveways, seemingly just after they have been cleared. We understand that this is not welcomed, particularly if your hired contractor has just completed your driveway. This is an unavoidable aspect of winter, and we thank you in advance for your understanding.