Highway Department

Phone: 413-655-2300 x304

Email: dpw.highways@hinsdalema.gov

DPW News

Mass Works Grant Application 2019

Click here to see the Old Dalton Road funding request.  

Snow and Ice Mailbox Replacement Policy

Mailboxes installed in the town right of way are placed at the owner’s risk. Each mailbox should be sufficiently solid to withstand snow-clearing efforts by the town. It must be installed per U.S. Postal Service regulations. It is the responsibility of the owner of the mailbox to clear the snow around the mailbox to assure mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.

The town does not replace mailboxes if damaged by snow or ice being discharged by the snowplow. The town only assumes responsibility if a town plow comes into contact with the mailbox or post. The town will not be responsible for damage to any mailbox or post if the front of the box extends past the curb line and /or is within 6 inches from the curb line.  

The town will only replace mailboxes if the town’s plow came in contact with a well-maintained mailbox or post. The Highway Superintendent will inspect the reported damage to determine the cause of the damage to the mailbox and/or post. If the Superintendent determines that the damage is a result of the town plow hitting the mailbox and/or post, the town DPW staff will attempt to make the necessary repairs. If the mailbox and/or post is deemed non-repairable by the DPW Staff, the Homeowner can chose one of the 2 options listed below.

The town will replace the damaged mailbox and /or post with a standard style metal mailbox and/or wood post.

The homeowner may opt to furnish and install their own mailbox and post and the Town will reimburse them up to $100.00 towards a replacement (including parts and labor). A receipt of the cost of replacement must be presented to receive payment.

Mailboxes and/or posts to

The Select Board and the Hinsdale Police Department would like to remind all citizens who will, shall, and do park on the roadways within the Town of Hinsdale of a few parking prohibited practices:

                  720 CMR 9.03 Parking

                  Restricted Places:

  1. Within an intersection

  2. Within a crossover

  3. Upon any sidewalk

  4. Upon any crosswalk

  5. Upon the roadway in a rural or sparsely settled district

  6. Upon any roadway where the parking of a vehicle will not leave a clear and unobstructed lane 12’ wide in each direction for passing traffic

  7. Upon or in front of any private road or driveway without the consent of the owner of said road or driveway

Please note that these are only a few of the PROHIBITED places.

Winter Sand for Seniors Available

Winter Sand is available for seniors for use on steps, walks, driveways, etc. Anyone over 60 needing sand can have it delivered. To be put on the list for sand delivery, please call the Town Hall Administrative Assistant at 413-655-2300 x345 or email select.board@hinsdalema.gov and supply your contact information. Please be aware that timing of the deliveries will be as the Highway Dept. can manage them. For anyone wanting sand but not needing delivery, please go to the Highway Dept. yard on Maple Street where there is a pile available for residents. Sand may also be obtained at the transfer station during regular hours. If picking up on your own, please supply your own container.

Winter Parking Ban Begins November 1

 

The Town of Hinsdale would like to remind residents that parking on a public way or from any private way open to the public, obstructing snow removal from November 1 to April 15 during the hours of 12 midnight to 8am is prohibited.

Towing costs and fines will be the responsibility of the vehicles registered owner as stated in the Town of Hinsdale By-Laws.

Information about the Chapter 90 Program

 

The “Chapter 90” Program is a Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Mass DOT) funded reimbursement program. Under the program, the state awards reimbursement grants to municipalities for maintaining, repairing, improving and reconstructing roads. Certain other eligible projects and purchases may also be approved by Mass DOT. The size of a given community’s annual Chapter 90 apportionment is based on a formula that takes into account three variables: the amount of town-accepted road miles, a town’s total resident population, and the amount of employment generated within a community. Hinsdale has been apportioned $156,233 in Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017). Although the town knows what its annual Chapter 90 apportionment will be prior to the beginning of a new fiscal year, funds are dispersed to the town only after approved projects have been completed (no funds are dispersed to the Town “upfront”). This means the town must have sufficient funds available in the general fund to cover all project costs before Mass DOT issues reimbursement.

 

Although some communities have established stabilization funds specifically to help finance significant road improvement projects, the Town of Hinsdale has historically limited its road (re)construction projects to those that can be funded with Chapter 90 monies. This was primarily done to help control municipal spending and subsequently keep the tax rate relatively low.

 

There is a fairly complex process that must be followed to obtain the Chapter 90 money for a proposed project. Mass DOT must approve any road project that the town wants to use Chapter 90 funds to complete. The paperwork involved is time-consuming. Once Mass DOT approves a given project, a determination must be made regarding how the project will be completed. For instance, one consideration is whether the town will hire a contractor to do part or all of the work or if the town highway crew is capable of performing part or all of the work. Timing of the available contractor or employees must be considered. When all this falls into place, then work can be started on the approved project.

 

There was an approximately four-year period in Hinsdale when little road work was performed using Chapter 90 funds. As a result, in Fiscal Year 2016 the town used over $695,000 of its aggregate apportionment—coupled with an additional $534,000 in state funding that our Highway Superintendent was able to help the Town obtain for storm damage—to completely reconstruct Pittsfield Road and Robinson Road.

For Fiscal Year 2017, the Town has received approval from Mass DOT to reconstruct Old Windsor Road using Chapter 90 funds. This work will be mostly completed by a private contractor. Additional Chapter 90 monies will also be used to work on Middlefield Road, Goodrich Street, Church Street, and East Washington Road between now and June 30, 2017.

 

We hope that this information is helpful, and please don’t hesitate to contact Bud Hall, Highway Superintendent, at 655-2304 if you have any additional questions or concerns about road maintenance in town.

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