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Agawam provides storm cleanup schedule

Date: 11/23/2011

Nov. 23, 2011

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Editor

AGAWAM — The final cleanup of storm-related debris is underway, and Department of Public Works (DPW) Superintendent Christopher Golba said residents can get a rough estimate of when trucks will be in their neighborhood by visiting the town’s website,

“There will be a list of routes they will be starting on and there will be a map that readers can access,” Golba told Reminder Publications. That map, he said, will include street listings by route, a detailed description of what area each route will cover, and what order streets will be cleared.

Golba said the process is expected to take “two to three weeks” and that the route maps will be updated as the work progresses. Each street, he added, will receive “one pass” during the cleanup procedure.

“It’s very difficult to determine how quickly they will do the work. Some streets have a pile of debris every 100 feet; on some streets the pile is 100 feet long,” Golba said, adding that work may be slower in the areas off Main Street and River Road, both of which were very hard-hit by the Oct. 29 snowstorm.

Golba said his DPW crews have cleared about 35 streets and collected about 8,000 cubic yards of debris in the two plus weeks since the storm. He estimates there is still about “50,000 cubic yards of material in town on the ground” that still needs to be picked up.

“You can see how long it’s taken. We just don’t have the type of equipment necessary to do it quickly,” he admitted.

Golba said the City Council authorized his department to expend $2.35 million for storm debris cleanup during an emergency meeting on Nov. 16. Following that authorization, he explained that the town contracted with AshBritt Environmental Inc. to handle debris cleanup and O’Brien Response Management to monitor and track the cleanup procedure. O’Brien was engaged in preparation for possible storm cleanup reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“They verify the volume in the trucks and the number of trucks [and] give us that information so that if money becomes available from FEMA, we will have all the documentation,” Golba said.

AshBritt was selected for debris removal, he noted, because the company is already cleared by the state bid process for reimbursement by FEMA. If reimbursement is available, he said he expects the town to recover approximately 67.5 percent of the cleanup costs.

Golba added the town’s storm debris collection site at Tuckahoe Turf Farm on South West Street would remain open to residents for storm debris disposal on weekends only. Drop-off hours will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Debbie Gardner can be reached by e-mail at

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