Snow and the Newburyport DPW

I’ve lived here in Newburyport, MA a year shy of 3 decades now. Not to brag, but Newburyport City Councilor, Tom O’Brien, called me “an almost native.” May seem weird, but this really and truly is a big, huge compliment (I’m actually not kidding here).

And driving on Rt. 1A after a New England snow storm, one could always tell when one was entering a new town because of how the roadway was plowed. And for 3 decades, Newburyport, in the roadway being plowed department, has always stuck out, not in a good way. Definitely in the not as well plowed department. And after 3 decades, I’m beginning to think it’s just a Newburyport systemic thing.

I have found over the years, that calling the Newburyport Department of Public Works (DPW) and requesting better plowing on my street has worked wonders. At one point, I even sent them a “thank you” note, which they promptly pinned to their bulletin board. I think that they said that it was to boost moral, and that it might have been the only thank you note that they, the Newburyport DPW, had ever received.

During this recent snow storm, the first of January 2010, I called to say that the plowing job on my street was the worst I had seen in 13 years. The foreman (I believe that’s who it was) showed up on my street within about 15 minutes, and we had a very nice chat. Really, it was very nice.

Apparently, in its hope to do a good plowing job last year, the plows got too close to people’s property, and lawns and driveways were damaged (I believe that this was the gist of the informed information that I received). So this year to compensate, the folks (a lot of new folks apparently) were told to be very careful, the result being, plowing very far away from the Newburyport curbs.

I explained to the gentleman from the DPW who came for a visit, and the very nice and patient lady who answers the phone at the Newburyport DPW, that my neighbors and I were snow-blowing and shoveling our street, which, I was pretty sure was not the goal. They agreed.

When the plow returned to our street to finish up the job, it did one spectacular job. And I was impressed. So a big thank you from me to our Newburyport DPW.