EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 22, 2013

Weekend forecast could present disposal problems


“We still have $325,000 left in the account,” he said.

Bruce Thibodeau, public works director in North Andover, said the town has spent about $800,000 on snow removal this year, which is about $50,000 over the annual $750,000 budget.

He said the downtown has been cleaned up and sidewalks around all the schools have been cleared. He said he expects the weekend storm “will be plowable” and won’t require extreme measures like the blizzard to remove the snow via dump truck to the town’s dumping site off Sharpner’s Pond Road.

“We’re having a little planning meeting on it today,” he said. “It is what it is. I’m not even 100 percent sure we’re getting snow.”

The town’s snow-dump still has plenty of room, he said, although private contractors are not allowed to dump at the site.

In Methuen, snow hauled from downtown is taken to an area adjacent to the city yard on Lindberg Avenue. Public Works director Ray DiFiore said the area is small, but has been adequate to take this year’s snowfall so far.

“We cleaned the downtown area, Broadway in front of the Post Office, Charles Street, and a couple of other areas like the pumping stations,” he said. “So far, it’s been enough.”

In the past, if the city runs out of room for snow storage, it uses playgrounds or parks in the city that have large parking areas.

He said private contractors are not allowed to use public spaces to dump snow.

“They see us doing it, and think it’s OK, but guess what, it’s not,” DiFiore said.

He said years ago, when he worked in Lawrence, city trucks would dump snow in a municipal parking lot under the Casey Bridge, where a bulldozer waited to push it into the river.

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