Northborough slightly increases plow fee
By John Swinconeck, Contributing Writer
Northborough ??” Residents who want their private ways plowed, sanded, and salted by the town this winter can expect to pay a little bit more. Selectmen on Oct. 7 voted unanimously to increase fees $5 for plowing and $5 for sanding and salting.
As a result, the town will charge $175 per storm to plow private ways that are less than 3,000 feet long, and $175 per storm for sanding and salting. That's a three-percent increase for the 2013-2014 winter season.
“It seems like an extremely modest increase,” said Selectman Jeff Amberson.
Public Works Director Daniel Nason couldn’t say for certain whether the increase will cover the cost to plow those roads this year.
“It varies so much. It's difficult to calculate that,” Nason said.
Depending on the season, plowing and sanding all roads in Northborough can be costly. Last year, the town's snow and ice budget ran into a deficit when winter conditions continued into the spring.
As a result, selectmen requested an additional $46,500 during Town Meeting in April for plowing, salting, and sanding this winter.
Residents on private ways may elect not to use town services and hire an independent company to plow. However, according to Town Administrator John Coderre, those that opt out usually find themselves, later, opting back in.
In addition to convenience, private ways need to be plowed to allow fire and police vehicles to access those roads in case of emergencies, according to Coderre.
“It's really beneficial all around,” he said.
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