Road Commission says this will be last year of leaf pickup with current machines Highway Department asking town meeting to replace a 36-year-old machine
The Highway Department recently painted one-way arrows at the end of Hope Street at Hopedale Street. Credit: Theresa Knapp
By Theresa Knapp
At its meeting on Oct. 13, the Hopedale Road Commission said this will be the last year the town can provide free leaf clean-up services if the Highway Department is not able to purchase a new machine.
Highway Superintendent Chris Nadeau told the board the department currently has one working leaf machine and another (from 2003) is in the shop while its engine is being replaced. The machine to be replaced was built in 1985.
“We need that new machine to do the leave pickup, if this is going to continue,” Chairman Eli Potty said at the Road Commission meeting. “This will be the last year with the old ones.”
An Oct. 16 special town meeting was to ask voters to approve funding for a new machine. At press time, the outcome of that meeting was unknown.
Nadeau also said his department had been replacing faded out signs and crosswalk/road markings. He said there is an industry-wide paint shortage so they painted the stop lines on the asphalt but not the letters “STOP” in an effort to preserve the paint they have left. They also painted one-way arrows at Hope and Hopedale Streets, and are in the process of installing a blinking stop sign at Plain Street which will also require paint. Further, he said there is also a shortage of yellow road paint and it is difficult to find paint to line the athletic fields so those projects are also on pause.