By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – The town's public safety, public works and Senior Center were all given high marks at the Nov. 8 Board of Selectmen meeting for their performance after the Oct. 29 Nor'saster wreaked havoc on much of the town. But National Grid received no such praise, instead drawing the ire of the three selectmen present at the meeting, as well as from Town Manager Jim Malloy. (Selectmen George Thompson and Ian Johnson were not present.)
Chair Lydia Goldblatt noted that “this town, as always, stepped up to the plate. But National Grid was a terrible disappointment.”
“We'se not a Third World country,” she added. “People shouldn's be without power for days on end and not be able to get an answer.”
Malloy said that he had spoken with many angry residents over the course of the week.
“I don's believe storms have become worse over the years,” he said. “The rights-of-way have become worse. For the last seven or eight years, there has been no maintenance [by National Grid].”
He said that he would be submitting comments soon to the Department of Public Utilities for when a hearing will be held on the response of the utility companies to the Nor'saster and Tropical Storm Irene.
Malloy noted that a number of private citizens, as well as local businesses, had stepped in to help those who sought shelter at the Senior Center after the storm. During the aftermath, 12 to 40 residents stayed at the center at various times, including two overnights.
Director Alma DeManche and the Senior Center staff, residents George Barrette, Stan Giegucz, and Bob and Anna Sylvester all assisted in efforts, Malloy told the selectmen, to ensure that residents were as comfortable as possible. Additionally, Westborough House of Pizza and Red Barn Coffee Roasters sent over food and drinks.
In other business, the board announced that they will not be holding a meeting Nov. 22. The next scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 29, which will also include a public hearing on tax classifications.