As 29 inches of snow fell on Foxborough over the weekend, it was the exhaustive efforts of the town’s DPW workers that helped minimize problems during the Blizzard of 2013.
For those efforts, Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis took time Monday to publicly thank the DPW for all they did during the storm and all they continue to do in its aftermath to return Foxborough to normalcy.
“I am proud for Foxborough of the hard work and diligence that our DPW and emergency personnel showed all through the storm and thank their families as they gave first priority to our town,” DeVellis said.
DeVellis, who met with the DPW early Monday morning, said the crews “are very tired but upbeat” to finish work that began Friday morning and has lasted through Monday with very little rest in between.
“People may not realize that our DPW folks basically live in the trucks and repair shop [during snowstorms] and when they get home, which may be in a different town, they have to do the same things that we do … that is shovel their own driveways and take care of their families and then they go back at it before 8 a.m. Monday,” DeVellis said.
In response to Foxborough Patch reader comments regarding the town’s plowing, DeVellis asked residents to give the DPW employees the respect they have earned after a storm of this magnitude.
“Constructive comments are always welcome but I am asking that people give [the DPW] the respect that they have earned and refrain from the negative armchair comments I am reading unless they have spent some time understanding the operation and have been to the other towns to compare,” DeVellis said. “Not only did the DPW focus on their job but also were dispatched to sites throughout the town to assist with medical calls and answer to private businesses and homes to clear to get emergency personnel in there.”
DeVellis said an agenda item will be added to the Feb. 26 BOS meeting so residents can hear more about the cleanup efforts.
“We have a Board of Selectmen meeting scheduled on Feb. 26th and I will put a brief topic on the agenda so the residents can hear directly from the DPW and Town Manager and get a post summary of storm efforts,” DeVellis said.
In the meantime, DeVellis said as of 7:30 a.m. Monday the DPW has cleared all municipal buildings and school parking lots and sidewalks within a mile radius of schools are now plowed.
“Roads are good,” DeVellis said. “I met with the DPW early this morning and the crews are back out and in cleanup mode, which continues.”
In addition to the DPW’s cleanup efforts Monday, the department will also be addressing the drainage by clearing basins and removing snow from around the Common, which will likely be done “after hours” Monday to avoid traffic.
DeVellis said the DPW reported no major mechanical issues but did have one employee injured during the storm.
The BOS chair asked residents to take a minute Monday to clear catch basin grates and fire hydrants around their homes or businesses.
“It helps tremendously.”
He also suggested parents enlist their children home from school to help in the clean up efforts.
“As the rain is approaching, look at it as an opportunity to tell your kid to turn off the TV and show them that the wide part of the shovel is the one that touches the ground,” DeVellis said. “Nothing that I haven’t told my own children this morning.”