Town Manager Bill Ross took the time at last night’s Mansfield Board of Selectmen meeting to praise the efforts of the DPW, Mansfield Electric and others who worked during and in the days following last weekend’s snow storm that saw over 30 inches of snow fall in Mansfield.
“Our staff worked very hard during the storm to the point of exhaustion,” Ross said during his report to the board. “They spent a lot of time and worked very hard.”
While admitting that it did take some time to get all the snow removed, Ross said that being in the jackpot area for snowfall extended the usual cleanup time but he would go over what went right and look at what needs improvement.
Ross cited a piece of snow equipment from 1997 that was simply not up to the task as part of the reason that the sidewalks took longer to clean. The town of Easton allowed Mansfield to borrow a machine and the airport loaned out their snow blower in order to make sure the downtown area was cleaned up Sunday night.
When asked about the salt brine spray used instead of rock salt to melt ice and snow on the roads, Ross said that the spray worked fine until the snow starting to come down at 2-3 inches an hour, a rate so fast that anything they put down would not have been sufficient.
Due to the extensive clean up process, the town has used the entirety of it’s snow removal budget. The high amount of snow forced the town to bring in contractors to help with the plowing effort but increased the cost of the removal efforts. Ross said he will be going to the Finance Committee to request approval for deficit spending on future snow removal.
Once again, Mansfield experienced very few power outages during the storm with the longest one lasting about 70 minutes. There was a slight problem after a power transfer on one of the 115 kV lines caused lights to flicker and set off several burglar and fire alarms across town.
On the social media side of things, Ross praised Selectmen Secretary Tracey Whalen for her updates on the Mansfield Facebook and Twitter pages. According to Ross, the Facebook page grew by 120 likes during the storm and in the aftermath.