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Sidewalk Snow Plow, Seriously

I strongly object to a general tax that does not benefit the majority of taxpayers. Save the $153,000 and reduce our property taxes.

is almost upon us. The warrant articles are available on the town’s website.

Article 27 is interesting in that the town wants all the residents to pay $153,000 for a new sidewalk snow plow that will only benefit a chosen few living in the central part of town. The town presently clears the sidewalks of business and homes close to the downtown area and close to some schools. The rest of us are required to clear away our own snow. Seriously.

This is just my opinion, but let everybody clear their own snow. Some may say that it is good for business. Well then let businesses, which pay the same tax rate as residents, clear their own sidewalks. Alternatively those who have the Town clear snow should pay for the snow plow or pay a fee for the service.

I strongly object to a general tax that does not benefit the majority of taxpayers. Save the $153,000 and reduce our property taxes.

Please attend the April 23, 2012 Town Meeting at the High School to defeat this and other extravagant expenditures. Don’t let a few special interests run your town.

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Paula Hogan April 13, 2012 at 03:05 AM
I don't know the usual and customary costs of a sidewalk plow, but I do feel that having the sidewalks plowed in the downtown area is a public safety issue. There are three public schools that benefit from this municipal service I believe and children who walk to school cannot do so in the streets when the sidewalks are not cleared. Having lived in the downtown area for over twenty years, I don't really see this as a "special interest" expenditure, but more of a public safety issue. We are still required as other residents in town, to shovel our walks and fire hydrants, but major roads such as Church Street and others in downtown encompass much more than just a homeowner taking care of the walks in front of their houses. Respectfully submitted.
Sandro Paz April 13, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Must be one of those Ferrari snow plows.
John Smitty April 13, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Not to mention the town can levy a $25 fine to residents that do not shovel the town sidewalk in front of their homes that do not get the "free" service from the town machine. So we pay for the machine AND get fined!
Chris L. April 13, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Well, its either that or the DPW guys can earn time and a half after every storm to shovel the town sidewalks. Of course, if they did nothing to the sidewalks after every storm, there would be complaints about that was well...
Chris L. April 13, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Besides, since I don't have children, perhaps I should start openly complaining about the school budget. I do not, because that is going to open a touchy subject. I think sidewalk plows would fall under the "choose your battles carefully" category...
Dean Harris April 13, 2012 at 10:59 PM
If you people let the town go through with this, you aren't as smart as I give you credit for. I can't beleive the taxes you people pay and receive nothing for it. Your streets and roads are probely the worse in the state of Mass. I feel sorry for you people.
The Troll of Northborough April 14, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Interesting, one could argue that “I don’t have kids in the school system” why should my taxes go towards that, yet we all pay into a shared pool, as a community, to support the needs of the community while I can see the question , do we really need this, Does it really cost that much, those I would see as more valid questions. Or even how many miles of sidewalks does the town clear? Are they sanded too? http://www.tracklessvehicles.com/blowers.htm shows details on commercial snow removal equipment. Equipment of this nature isn’t cheap; it’s not just a Toro snow blower from home depot. Its equipment that can clear the 80 miles of walks and such after each storm to ensure walk ways is clear and sanded in public areas, neighborhoods close to schools, elderly housing and what not. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll for watching where the money goes, I don’t see this as a frivolous purchase, I don’t have kids in the school system, I don’t walk around town in the snow, so I really don’t get any benefit from the schools or the sidewalks, nor does the sidewalk plow benefit me personally, but I’m for the idea because it’s for the betterment of the community.
Neal April 14, 2012 at 03:35 AM
I hav never really understood the need for a town sidewalk snow plow. I moved to the are about three years ago after growing up in Southern CT. I cant think of one town or city that plowed sidewalks that were not in front of town offices or schools. It has always been the responsibility of the property owner or business to clear their section of sidewalks.
JB April 14, 2012 at 02:01 PM
instead of purchasing one snow blowing machine costing $153,000, the town could instead purchase 50 top-of-the-line snow blowers (@2500 each) and then have enough left over to purchase 7000 gallons of fuel (@$4/gallon). The town could then distribute these machines around town to schools and perhaps businesses or volunteers that would store them and use them when needed. These smaller machines are perfect for clearing narrow sidewalks. How much can one monster machine accomplish across the entire town in one day?
William Jeas April 15, 2012 at 07:31 PM
The very expensive Sidewalk Plow was broken because of abuse in use and failure to know to to operate this little needed plow. There are a paucity of side walks in town. This plow sits around rusting away. No need for this unneeded piece of equipment. And if we should vote for it at the Town Meeting, the Taxpayers will soon again be faced with another broken side walk plow. Vote against this Warrant Article at the Annual Town Meeting on April 23, 2012.
Dean Harris April 15, 2012 at 08:56 PM
A Bobcat with a bucket, plow,or snow blower attachment would be the machine to clean the sidewalks and would not cost even a $100.000 dollars This is what they use in the town I live in.
William Jeas April 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Why not just purchase an industrial strength walk-behind snowthrower for $1,000 in lieu of a $153,000 sidewalk super-duper plow. Maybe even 1 or 2 more snowthrowers. Quite frankly...VOTE "NO" to THIS WARRANT ARTICLE. It's underserving of taxpayers monies.
The Troll of Northborough April 16, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Think back a year ago, we had tons of snow, the state comes along one night and pushes the snow back from RT20 to make room for the next store, now the snow banks are 8 – 10 feet tall along the sidewalks, I want to see the a snow blower from Lowes or home depot cut thru this, A bobcat, I want to see how many 1000’s of hours it will take to clear the town. Better yet, I want to see the home owners and business pay private contractors $500 or more to clear the “public” sidewalks that the town and state block when plowing. How come I cant blow snow in the road, but they can plow snow onto my walk? Get the facts people about why the town is asking for equipment and how its planed use is, don’t let the ignorance of a few ruin or dpw.
Chris L. April 16, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I find it amusing that a few commenters have posted things along the lines of "that's how they do it in the town I live in..." So you don't live in Northborough? Gee, um, thanks for your unsolicited opinion...
Mike Hakenjos April 16, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Give every able bodied person in the area that is on welfare &/or unemployment a shovel and let them earn their keep.
JB April 17, 2012 at 12:11 AM
If your saying it's too hard to clear a sidewalk with a snowblower, then why is the town writing tickets and fining residents if they don't clear the town-owned sidewalk in front of their houses?
Postman April 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Is this not a tough sell after the winter we just had. Might have been easier after last year's? If they can find a way to save the $ from another area or at least a good portion of it, then I'm on board. I have a feeling they won't though.
Chris L. April 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM
This isn't exactly Worcester we're talking about.
The Troll of Northborough April 21, 2012 at 07:28 PM
@Jb I'm saying when the state pushes 2 lanes of snow onto the sidewalk in front of my house, how am I as a home owner to deal with a snow bank 12 feet tall? How is any home owner. If I blow snow into the street I get fined, yet the state can put 2 lanes of snow ( about 20 feet width) onto the area I am supposed to clear.
Chris L. April 21, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Perhaps JB can come shovel sidewalks downtown. You know...civic duty...saving the town some money and all... Honestly, democracy really isn't supposed to be all about you. Maybe an elderly resident downtown could sue the town after suffering a heart attack shoveling what used to be plowed. But hey, a sidewalk plow would be cheaper than that, wouldn't it?
The Troll of Northborough June 28, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Seeing how the mentality seems to be its the land owners issue, Now that the power company is trimming the trees of the land owners that have failed to keep limbs and such clear from power lines, they will be getting the bill right, I don’t want to pay a higher rate for all these people with trees that need to be trimmed, fairs fair isn’t it?

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