Category Archives: DPW

Public Meeting on Complete Streets on June 29

The City of Melrose will be holding a public meeting on Thursday June 29th at 5 PM in the Aldermanic Chamber at City Hall to present the proposed 15 Complete Streets projects that the City intends to submit to MassDOT in order to qualify for construction grant funds. There will be an explanation given as to how the list was narrowed down from 43 to 25, as well as what factors were then used to determine the proposed 15 projects that would comprise the City’s Prioritization Plan. For more information about the Complete Streets program and to view the project lists, please visit Melrose’s Complete Streets webpage at: City of Melrose Complete Streets

Melrose Receives $19,000 Grant to Plan Adaptation to Climate Change

Melrose has received a $19,000 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant that will help the city to predict the impacts of climate change in the region and start planning on how to adapt. The grant will fund training for city staff, as well as planning efforts relating to possible risks such as health issues due to rising temperatures, damage to buildings and other infrastructure due to flooding, and environmental hazards due to more frequent and more severe storms.

“We don’t have the luxury of arguing about climate change,” said Mayor Robert J. Dolan. “The fact is that it is real, its impacts are already being felt around the world, and it will affect Melrose. We must plan carefully to reduce its impact on our people and our infrastructure. We will do this in the context of our overall Hazard Mitigation Plan, which we will be updating at the same time.”

The grant is provided by the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs in accordance with an executive order from Governor Charlie Baker, who instructed EEA last September to help cities and towns plan for the effects of climate change.

More Photos from a Great DPW Day

We posted some photos of DPW Day yesterday, and some of the attendees sent in their own.

Katie Weatherford sent in these photos of Roosevelt School second-graders enjoying the day:

And Stephanie McHugh got these shots of her son Luke riding the big rigs:

Thanks for sharing your day with us!

DPW Day Will Be June 15

The 15th Annual DPW Day will be held on June 15th (rain date of June 16th) from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Tremont Street Operations Facility, 72 Tremont St. Students in grades K-3 of the Melrose schools will attend the event as a field trip, and Melrose residents are also invited to bring their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, ages 8 or younger, to join in the event any time after 9:30 a.m.

Because of the large number of children attending, the City Yard will be closed to residents dropping off yard waste/recyclables that day. In addition, Tremont Street will be closed in front of the DPW building (but open to traffic visiting businesses between DPW and West Emerson Street).

The DPW is hard at work preparing this fun and educational day for the children and residents of Melrose. Our theme this year is DPW STRONG! This year the event will feature a select group of 4th grade students from each school giving interactive presentations from a stage at home plate of Lewis Monk field from 9:30am-10:30am. The 4th grade projects will focus on sustainability, energy and environmental advancements made in the City of Melrose over the past 15 years, and ways that Melrosians young and old can help make their community clean and green. From solar power to single stream recycling, LED lighting, stormwater runoff, water conservation and the sewer system – you won’t want to miss this part of the day!

In honor of this 15th anniversary, DPW Day will feature historical photographs and items from Melrose over the past century (courtesy of Scott Macaulay). The event will also take a look into the future, with renderings of the new school additions and development projects elsewhere in the community. In addition to seeing the vehicles and workers that help keep Melrose’s streets safe and clear year-round, new exhibits, demonstrations and activities will engage kids in the DPW world of engineering, water, trash and recycling. Students will learn where their tap water comes from while designing their own gravity water system with the engineering department, practice their recycling sorting skills through a game made with upcycled materials, and consider the impact of using plastic bags on the environment while posing as a sea turtle in a photo booth made by the Melrose Reycling Committee.

DPW would also like to invite everyone to stop by the popular “Ducks in a Pond” game to thank our Water and Sewer Foreman, Matty Hickey, who will be retiring at the end of June after 45 years working for Melrose DPW.

For more information about this and other events, please visit the Melrose Recycles blog at or call Sadie Brown at 781-665-0142.

DPW Is Sprucing Up Melrose for Spring!

Spring is here! DPW is out planting trees and hanging flags and flowers. Enjoy spring, Melrose! Feel free to call DPW at 781-665-0142 with ways we can help.

Community Cleanup to take place on Saturday May 6

On Saturday May 6 from 9 am to noon, the Melrose Recycling Committee will sponsor a cleanup of public spaces throughout the city. The event will be held in conjunction with the Ell Pond Committee’s annual cleanup and restoration of the Ell Pond area during the same time period. Volunteers should gather at the Memorial Knoll shoreline across from the middle school.

With the support of the Melrose Department of Public Works, the Recycling Committee will be providing plastic gloves and trash bags and will be leading groups to clean up public spaces in Melrose, such as the Middle School and the High School grounds, the Commons, the skateboard park. Additional cleanup targets will depend on the number of volunteers who participate. The Recycling Committee will also be providing information on its ongoing BYOB (“Bring Your Own Bag”) initiative.

MRC’s community cleanup had previously been part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in January, but has been moved to the spring to facilitate a more thorough cleanup.

The rain date for the event will be Sunday May 7.

The Recycling Committee meets the first Thursday of every month, typically at the library. New members are welcome; call 781-775-5058 for more information.

MWRA and DPW Partner in our Schools

Reliable access to unlimited amounts of clean tap water is something that all Melrosians rely on every day, and the extensive infrastructure and people power that makes this immense feat possible is easy to take for granted in our community. This month, Melrose’s Department of Public Works (DPW) partnered with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to bring a free hands-on workshop to 3rd graders at all of Melrose’s public elementary schools. Students – acting as city planners, engineers, DPW employees and building owners – learned how tap water gets brought over 65 miles from the Quabbin Reservoir to every resident in Melrose, and 50 other cities and towns in the state, through collaboration between MWRA and DPW.

Meg Tobacsko, MWRA School Education Program Director, developed and taught this hands-on curriculum, in which students examined real world problems (such as how the properties of water affect the design and maintenance of the infrastructure that is used to deliver it to our city buildings). Students also demonstrated their understanding of concepts like estimation by actually building a model water distribution system with a series of “pipes” fashioned from cardboard tubes and plastic drinking straws connecting the large MWRA pipes to the smaller city pipes to the very small privately-owned service lines to each of their “buildings.” Students also worked through real life word problems, including using math skills to determine how many years it took to fill the Quabbin Reservoir (it took 7 years from when rain, rivers and runoff first began to flow into the reservoir in 1939!).

“Working with the kids was really fun and we were actually really impressed by how much they knew about the pipes under our streets and how water gets to your house and sink.” said Matty Hickey, DPW’s Water & Sewer Division Foreman of 45 years, who attended classes at the Lincoln and Roosevelt Elementary Schools along with City Engineer, Elena Proakis-Ellis. DPW Recycling Coordinator, Sadie Brown (whose grandfather rebuilt and raised a family in one of the houses that had to be moved from Enfield, one of the 4 towns flooded to make the Quabbin Reservoir) also attended classes at Hoover and Winthrop.

The relevance of the material covered in these lessons was not lost on the students, many of whom sipped from reusable bottles that they refill daily from the water bottle filling stations that have recently been installed by DPW in all Melrose public schools. These convenient amenities enable students, teachers and administrative staff to utilize the clean, free water provided to Melrose by MWRA to refill their reusable water bottles, thus reducing waste generated by single use plastic water bottles. “DPW infrastructure is present in so many aspects of daily activities children take part in. This was a great opportunity to help them understand the manner in which water gets to your home in a simple way and also give them the opportunity to learn some fun facts about the precious resource water is,” said DPW Director John Scenna.

In addition to this “Building the System” workshop, MWRA offers a series of other free lessons for various grade levels (elementary through high school). If you are a parent or teacher here in Melrose and think your children would enjoy learning about the essential services provided by MWRA and DPW please get in touch with Sadie ( or 781-665-0142 x18).

DPW Welcomes Spring!

April is the month that we (hopefully) say goodbye to snow and welcome the return of spring. Melrose DPW celebrates the changing seasons by cleaning and storing our snow equipment and resuming a variety of services and events for residents:

  • Saturday April 1st from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Saturday hours resume at the City Yard Recycling Center. Details on what items DPW accepts can be found in a chart at the bottom of this page of the city website.
  • Week of April 10th: Curbside yard waste pickup resumes (and continues every other week through the month of June). Details and a link to the schedule can be found here.
  • Saturday, April 15th from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Paper Shredding event for residents. First box free, each additional box $5. Details and event flier can be found here.
  • Now through May 8th: Backyard compost bins and rain barrels on sale to Melrose residents (at or below market value). Details can be found here.

Please contact the Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator, Sadie Brown, with any questions;; 781-665-0142 x18.

Snow Update: Schools Open Tomorrow with a Two-Hour Delay

The Melrose Public schools will be open tomorrow with a two-hour delay

  • Melrose High School and Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School will open at 9:45 a.m.
  • All elementary schools will open at 10:15 a.m.
  • Trash and recycling will be picked up tomorrow and will be on a one-day delay for the rest of the week.
  • Melrose City Hall, Public Library, and Council on Aging will all open at their regular times.
  • The citywide parking ban will be lifted at 6 a.m.
  • Area communities are experiencing power outages. If you experience a power outage, please call the National Grid Customer Service Line at 1-800-322-3223 or the Outage Reporting Line at 1-800-465-1212.
  • Important message from Melrose DPW: Please do not blow snow into the street. It is not only against city ordinance (and you could be fined) but you are preventing proper cleanup and putting your neighbors at risk.

If you have any snow concerns or questions please contact the Snow Operations Center, which will be open throughout the evening, at 781-665-0142.

Snow Update, March 14, 2017

It looks like the worst of the snowstorm is over, but be careful as the snow is wet and heavy. DPW is out working throughout the city. If you have any snow-related problems or questions, call the DPW Storm Operations Center at 781-665-0142.

Tonight is a great night to stay in and watch Chronicle—the Melrose episode is scheduled to be re-run tonight at 7:30 on WCVB TV, Channel 5.

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