By Keith Regan, Contributing Writer
Westborough–Officials are letting residents know that due to the extraordinary amounts of snow belting the region, the town will not be in a position to replace mailboxes damaged in snow removal efforts.
“This is an unusual year,” Department of Public Works Director John Walden told the Board of Selectmen at its meeting Feb. 10. “I have been getting hundreds of calls, literally hundreds.”
Typically, when a resident can demonstrate that plows damaged property such as a mailbox, the town will make or pay for the repair. This year, many mailboxes are being leveled not by the plows themselves, but by the sheer weight of snowbanks.
“We’re just not in a position to do anything about it this year,” Walden said. “We have been telling residents that and most seem to understand.”
Meanwhile, Walden said the town has already exceeded the entire snow and ice removal budget of $554,000 and was about to begin deficit spending.
He said he had hired additional outside contractors to help haul snow in coming days. “We’re doing what we have to do,” he said.
Selectman Ian Johnson urged residents to help town crews and the fire department by shoveling hydrants near their homes.
And on behalf of public works crews, Selectmen Chair George Barrette implored runners to stay off snow-covered roads, especially during early morning hours when plow drivers have difficulty seeing them. Barrette noted that the town had already seen one fatal accident due to snow cleanup, underscoring the danger of being on the roads during snow removal operations.