Highway & Grounds

"The Highway Division is responsible for maintaining the road system, providing snow and ice control, traffic and regulatory sign maintenance and other various programs involved in the maintenance and upkeep of existing road systems, and public grounds and athletic fields."

Driveways


Driveway openings onto a public way require a permit.

Street Lighting


The City Council has adopted a policy for street lighting that calls for lights at intersections, cul de sacs, hazardous locations and otherwise not closer than every third pole. We try to adhere to this policy when reviewing citizens requests for street lights.

The Town contracts with Western Mass Electric Company (WMECO) to install and maintain street lights. Residents can call in burnt out street lights to the Department of Public Works (DPW) Office a 413-821-0600. If at all possible the number on the pole should be given to assist the electric company and locating the problem.

Snow & Ice Control


Priority is given to main roads and hills (including school bus routes) in salting and plowing operations. Only when these are passable do we move into the local streets. We currently have 7 salting/sanding routes and 15 plow routes fielding an average of 40 plows between municipal and hired equipment. We rely on a private weather service forecast fine tuned to our locale in planning our response to each storm. This year we have added a satellite weather hookup for continuous real time reports.

The Department clears snow only from public sidewalks on major streets where children are required to walk to school. Residents and/or tenants are responsible to clear all other walks.

Occasionally street plows knock over rural delivery mailboxes by direct contact or projecting snow. If there is evidence that the plow actually struck a mailbox we replace the installation. If the mailbox was knocked over by the weight of the snow (usually due to rot or improper installation) and not directly struck by the plow, we do not replace it.

Wind Storms


The Department clears and removes downed trees and limbs if the tree is/was a public tree. We do not knowingly pickup limbs from privately owned trees.

Street Maintenance


Our program for street maintenance is based on a methodology that considers the pavement condition rating, the age of the existing pavement, and the traffic category of the street (arterial, collector, local). Other considerations that impact maintenance plans are the need for sewer, water, or drainage improvements or the need to reconstruct the roadway to improve safety and traffic handling.