Category Archives: DPW

DPW Storm Update

As you know, our region was hit with a serious storm last night with high winds, causing substantial damage. Luckily, unlike many areas, we did not have widespread power outages or flooding.

However, we do have many downed trees and limbs. Just to let you know, DPW will be working until dark tonight, and the phones at the DPW Storm Center, 781-665-0142, will be staffed until 6 p.m. to address any concerns or problems. DPW will be back at it tomorrow. If you have a large limb you would like to have removed, please move it to the front of your house, where you put the trash, and place a call to DPW, and we will pick it up.

Thank you for your patience. We have received many calls, but our DPW crews are working very hard to get the job done.


Household Hazardous Waste Dropoff Event Will Be October 28

Melrose residents can bring their household hazardous waste for safe disposal

$20 for up to 3 gallons, $25 for 4-10 gallons, $50 for 11-25 gallons

Can’t make this date? Alternate dates and locations can be found at

Recycle Your Rigid Plastics and Dehumidifiers on October 21

Large rigid plastics usually are NOT accepted in curbside recycling OR at the City Yard. Bring them down for recycling on this day only (otherwise they must go in the trash, which is costly, wasteful and bad for the environment).

Mass Save is once again offering Melrose residents a $30 mail-in rebate for old, working dehumidifiers (limit of 2 per household).

DPW to Do Road Work This Week

The Melrose Department of Public Works will be performing roadway work next week on York Terrace, West Hill and Aaron Street. Final paving of these streets is anticipated to be completed by Friday, October 20, 2017.

Work will also start Monday on Albion Street. Albion Street and Day Street will be closed for the entire week from Franklin Street to Melrose Street. This project will be ongoing for the next three to four weeks and will include roadway reconstruction, some minor drainage work and sidewalk repairs.

Road work on Spear and Hancock Street should start towards the middle of next week and will reach substantial completion for this initial phase of the project by early November.

Lastly, traffic line markings will be painted on Upham Street from Bellevue Avenue to the Saugus city limits Wednesday evening.

Please be aware of road closures and detours in all of the above work areas and plan accordingly, especially for those commuting to and from Melrose High School. If you have any questions, concerns or require a specific accommodation, please call the DPW Engineering Office at 781-979-4172 or you can email .

Senior Sign Up Events at Memorial Hall October 16 and 17

The City of Melrose will once again hold two sessions for seniors to sign up for a variety of discounts and tax exemptions on October 16th (2pm-4pm) and October 17th (10am-12pm) at Memorial Hall.

Last year, more than 125 qualifying seniors came to Memorial Hall and took advantage of this opportunity with various City Departments. These sessions offer a relaxed atmosphere where residents can speak directly with city departments to learn more about city discounts on bills and programs that may be available to them.

Residents need only attend one session.

The following discounts and exemptions are in place for qualifying seniors and low income residents:

  • Senior Property Tax Exemption (Age 65+ & income eligible)
  • Water & Sewer Discounts (Age 65+ or income eligible)
  • Solid Waste Fee Discounts (Age 65+ or income eligible)
  • Property Tax Work Program (Age 60+)
  • Veteran Financial and Medical Benefits / Assistance
  • Help Understanding Your Energy Bill
  • Council on Aging Transportation
  • ABCD Fuel Assistance and Energy Programs

What residents should bring:

  • Photo Identification
  • Recent Tax Bill
  • 2016 Tax Return (Social Security Statement if no tax return)
  • Electric Bill
  • For veteran’s assistance please bring DD214

Melrose 5th Annual Swap Day Will be October 7

Melrose’s Fifth Annual Swap Day will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot behind City Hall at 562 Main Street. The event is run by the Melrose Recycling Committee, with the support of the Melrose Department of Public Works and in partnership with Birth to Five.

Swap Day is a community reuse event that provides an opportunity to save reusable items from being discarded and give them a new life and a new home. You don’t have to bring something to take something. All items must be clean, gently used, working, complete, and able to be carried by one person. Items will be inspected and approved before they are eligible to be swapped. If you are looking to “de-clutter,” this is a good opportunity to give new life to items that may no longer have a place in your home but that have not outlived their usefulness.

Please see the Melrose Swap Day Acceptable Items for the acceptable and non-acceptable items for Swap Day.

LCM PLUS Partners with DPW to Upgrade Bellevue/Lynn Fells Parkway Island

LCM PLUS has partnered with the Department of Public Works to construct a new Adopt-A-Site within the traffic island at the intersection of the Lynn Fells Parkway with Bellevue Avenue. Work should be completed within the next week. Special thanks to Joe Guarino and his crew for again giving back to the community by partnering to renovate Bellevue Park.

“As a long-time resident of this community, I am happy and proud to be able to contribute and give back to the beautiful town of Melrose” says Joe Guarino, owner and President of LCM PLUS.

In partnership with the City, LCMPLUS has adopted this site to make it more usable and enjoyable for the community of Melrose. LCM provided labor and materials needed to bring the park new life and add to the beauty of Melrose including: a stone wall, walkways, a sitting area, all-new landscaping, plantings, landscape lighting and irrigation system. LCM PLUS will also donate their time and labor to the upkeep of this park on an on-going basis to the City of Melrose.

Established in 1986, LCM PLUS is a licensed builder and landscaping firm headquartered in Melrose, MA. With over 30 years of experience, they have serviced clients from Southern New Hampshire, all the way down to Cape Cod. Services include landscaping, masonry, irrigation, holiday lighting, creative outdoor living and much, much more. Visit or call (781) 662-0883 to learn more.

If you are interested in a similar Adopt-A-Site project, please contact Joan Bell, Superintendent of Mount Hood and Public Open Space, at 781-662-0210.

DPW Update from Mayor Dolan

I am happy to inform you of advancements in several projects that have started or are about to start this month. These projects illustrate our continued commitment and investment in infrastructure and maintenance of our utility systems and services. Below is a listing of some of our major initiatives:

2017 Water Main Improvements
The City opened bids on September 14th for this year’s water main improvements project, which is being funded through the MWRA’s zero-interest loan program. The project is estimated to cost approximately $1,000,000 including design, construction, and construction services and consists of work on Warwick Road, Perkins Street from Warwick Road to the Stoneham line, Altamont Avenue, and Day Street. The low bidder was N. Granese & Sons from Salem, MA. We anticipate beginning construction in the coming weeks and hope to complete the majority of the work prior to the end of the calendar year.

On Altamont Avenue, Perkins Street, and Day Street, the work will consist of replacing and upsizing existing water mains, along with replacement of all water services between the new mains and the limits of the City’s rights-of-way. On Warwick Road, the City presently has two parallel water mains—one 6-inch and one 16-inch. The proposed work on Warwick Road consists of abandoning the 6-inch main and connecting all house services and side streets’ water mains to the 16-inch main. The four impacted streets are scheduled to be final paved in 2018.

In addition to this project, the water main was replaced under a separate contract on First Street from Ashcroft Road to Sixth Street (in front of the Winthrop School). Finally, water main flushing has begun this week and will continue through mid-November, to flush out our water system and to exercise and test our water system components (valves and hydrants) to ensure continued operation. Flushing is being completed by our in house Water Operations crew.

Infiltration and Inflow Investigation and Reduction
Throughout 2017, the City has been aggressively investigating the sewer system in select areas identified as contributing the highest volumes of extraneous flows, or infiltration and inflow (I/I), to the sewer system. These areas have been the subject of internal camera inspections, flow isolation to determine nighttime flows, and manhole inspections. Based on the results of these tests, the City and our consultants from Weston & Sampson Engineers have identified pipe segments that will benefit from cast-in-place lining. This technology is trenchless, meaning that all work is planned to be performed from the surface using existing manholes for access. The bid prices ranged from approximately $1.1M to $1.3M, and bids are presently being evaluated with an award anticipated to take place next week. This project is also being funded through the MWRA assistance program, which consists of a 75% zero-interest loan and 25% grant for sewer projects.

Complete Streets
On August 31, 2017, the City submitted our Complete Streets Prioritization Plan to MassDOT, culminating a year-long effort of identifying and evaluating projects for inclusion in the document. As we await MassDOT comments and approval, we are now preparing our first application for implementation grant funding, which can total up to $400,000 per community per year. Specifically, we are preparing the grant application to include pedestrian and bicycle improvements around Melrose High School and Melrose Veteran’s Memorial Middle School, creation of an improved north-south bicycle route from Wakefield to Main Street at West Wyoming Avenue, and configuration, accessibility, and crosswalk improvements to Howard Street from Green Street to Nelson Road. If approved for funding, these projects would be constructed in 2018. The program has also identified several other projects which we are currently reviewing for submission in future Complete Streets grant program cycles and also some which we are exploring alternative construction funding sources to bring forward.

Multi-year Utility and Roadway Improvement Plan
Thus far in 2017, National Grid has completed gas main and service replacements on Tremont Street between the Lynn Fells Parkway and Lake Avenue, West Hill Avenue, York Terrace, Botolph Street between West Hill and York, Albion Street, Altamont Avenue, Aaron Street, First Street between Ashcroft Road and Sixth Street, and Vinton Street between Glen Road and Warwick Road. They are presently continuing gas main and service replacement projects on Warwick Road, Spear and Hancock Streets, and Florence Street between West Wyoming and West Foster. They intend to complete the construction season with projects on North and South High Streets, Frances and Bartlett Streets and East Emerson Street.

The City’s 2017 Road Program is following behind utility work after adequate time has been allowed for roadway settlement. This summer, we completed paving on Cleveland Street and on Tremont Street between the Lynn Fells Parkway and West Emerson Street. Pavement markings on each of these streets are scheduled to be painted in the coming weeks. Also this summer, we completed work at the Winthrop School to add a new drop-off driveway on First Street and to expand the teacher parking lot.

During the fall, we are scheduled to begin paving and sidewalk work on Albion Street and Day Street, West Hill Avenue, York Terrace, Spear Street, Hancock Street, Aaron Street, and First Street between Ashcroft Road and Sixth Street. Some of these streets will be completed in the 2017 construction season, while others will be paved with a binder course and allowed to settle further until spring 2018, when the final top course will be paved.

Opt-In Monthly Water & Sewer Billing to start in October
We are happy to announce that starting in October, we will be introducing a monthly option for water & sewer bills. Currently, residents can only receive their water and sewer bill quarterly (4 times per year). Starting next month, you will have the option to switch to monthly billing (12 bills/year). This is not mandatory, this is your choice. The Public Works Water & Sewer Billing office will be rolling this out by notifying one area of Melrose each month, starting in October based on our reading and billing cycle. It will take until April to offer to the entire City. Instructions on how to opt in will be in your quarterly bill.

Other Upgrades on the Way
Lastly, Public Works has also partnered with various organizations and will be moving forward with smaller improvement to our parks and open spaces. Plans are currently being finalized to upgrade the Adopt-a-Site at the island of Bellevue and the Lynn Fells Parkway; construction of a new WWII Memorial will be completed and opened this coming Veteran’s Day; solar lights will be added to the Dog Park; and construction for a new dog park at Pine Banks has commenced.

For further information on these projects, please visit:

  1. 2017 Construction Projects:
  2. 2017 Flushing Program:
  3. Monthly Water & Sewer Opt in Monthly Billing Program Questions can be directed to:

City of Melrose to Conduct Smoke Testing

In order to improve sewer service, on behalf of the City of Melrose, Weston & Sampson will be conducting smoke testing on portions of the sanitary sewer system throughout the City from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the months of September and October 2017.

These inspections are being conducted as part of Melrose’s 2017 Sewer Investigation Program. The purpose of smoke testing is to locate sources of rainwater entering the sanitary sewer. By removing this extra flow, Melrose will reduce the amount of unnecessary wastewater it sends to the MWRA. This extra flow is called inflow. The reduction of inflow is an important component of the City’s present Infiltration and Inflow (I/I) reduction program.

During the test, white smoke is introduced to the sanitary sewer system via a smoke-generating machine. During this procedure, white smoke will be venting from holes in manhole covers and from plumbing vent pipes located on or near your roof surface. THIS IS NORMAL AND SHOULD NOT CAUSE ALARM.

Smoke should not enter your premises unless there is either a dry trap in an unused fixture or a plumbing defect. You may wish to pour two gallons of water down any basement floor drain or unused plumbing fixture to ensure that the drain trap will be effective.

Should smoke be detected within your building, do not be alarmed. The smoke is NON-TOXIC, NON-STAINING, and dissipates quickly through open windows. IF YOU HAVE A LUNG AILMENT or RESPIRATORY CONDITION SUCH AS ASTHMA OR EMPHYSEMA, STAY AWAY FROM THE SMOKE. Any smoke within a building should be immediately reported to the Fire Department at 911 and the persons conducting the tests.

Weston & Sampson company vehicles are black and/or gray with the company name on the sides, and their personnel will be wearing shirts with the Weston & Sampson markings. All Weston & Sampson staff will carry a current identification card.

Any questions should be directed to Weston & Sampson at (978) 548-6352. Leave a message including your name, address, and telephone number and your call will be promptly returned.

Citywide Flushing and Hydrant Testing Program Begins September 19

The City’s biennial water main flushing program will begin Tuesday, September 19, 2017, and run through early November. The intent of the flushing program is to clean out any sediment that collects in water mains and to test and evaluate water system components such as hydrants and valves. Over the course of the next two months, every stretch of water main in the city will be flushed by closing off certain valves in the city’s water distribution system and allowing hydrants in that area to run for a period of a few minutes. Residents should not use their water when we are flushing or testing on their street, as it may result in sediment in home plumbing and discolored water.

Hydrant flushing will be taking place between Washington/Pleasant/Wyoming and Malden next Tuesday to Thursday. Flushing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

More information is available on our 2017 Water Main Flushing page. Please check the street list or call the Engineering Division at 781-979-4172 to determine our daily list of streets to be flushed. The street list will be updated on flushing days, no later than 4:00 pm, to reflect the completed streets and the following day’s anticipated schedule. Some streets may require re-listing for completion, so check the street list for the completion of your street or call the Engineering Division at 781-979-4172.

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