Friday, July 27, 2018

There are two ways we treat the roads during winter called anti-icing and de-icing.

Before a storm, we anti-ice the roads by applying a liquid solution to them. This solution prevents snow and ice from binding to the pavement and lowers the temperature that water freezes. The reason we apply a liquid and not solid salt is that the dry salt is blown away or bounces off the roads when applied before precipitation moistens them. Once precipitation begins, we begin to apply rock salt which requires moisture to be effective.

During and after a storm, we work to de-ice the roads. We remove the ice and snow from the surface of the road by plowing and applying additional materials to the surface of the roads. This helps to loosen the ice and snow from the pavement, while also lowering the freezing point of water.
You may also see some materials spread along a cleared highway after a snowstorm. This post-storm treatment is applied to the roads to prevent them from re-freezing during nighttime.
There are 5 types of materials we use to treat the roads for snow and ice,

  • Rock salt breaks up ice and prevents it from sticking to the pavement.
  • It is widely available, effective, and inexpensive compared to other de-icing/anti-icing materials.
  • However, it is corrosive and can harm the environment if over-applied. It also does not work well at lower temperatures,

  • Liquid magnesium chloride prevents snow and ice from sticking to the roads.
  • It works in lower temperatures, and is less harmful to both the environment and snow plows.
  • However, it is expensive and must be applied at specific times.

  • Brine prevents snow and ice from sticking to the pavement.
  • It is effective for pre-treatment, and easy to apply to the roads.
  • It is less expensive and has fewer restrictions on when it can be applied.
  • However, it does not work well at extremely low temperatures.

  • Sand is inexpensive and effective at increasing traction at lower temperatures.
  • However, it does not melt snow and ice, and loses its angularity, and thus its traction, rapidly.
  • As sand can clog drains, it must be removed from the roadway, roadsides, and storm drains and disposed of.

  • Pre-mix is used in  “reduced salt” areas, and  in areas of lower air temperatures.
  • It is less harmful to the environment than other materials, and effective at lower temperatures.
  • However, it is an expensive material that  has to be stored and kept dry

  • Collins said Wellesley officials began researching carbohydrate-based additives in recent years after attending a national public works conference, where they heard rave reviews from officials using them in other parts of the country.
    The City of Boston uses salt primarily and sometimes will use a mixture of salt and water, said deputy public works commissioner Michael Brohel. But he said carbohydrate-based additives could be in the city’s future.
    “We’re always open to testing out new methods,” Brohel said.
    Interest in, and experimentation with, carbohydrate-based substances has risen in recent years due to positive results from use of one of the older and more well-know additives, beet juice, long popular in the Midwest.
    “With the success of the beet products, people are looking at what else they can use,” said Fay.
    Of course, cost is a major factor driving what public works agencies use to treat roads, so they’re generally on the hunt for substances that are cheap and also local, because transporting the materials over long distances can quickly become too expensive to be worthwhile.
    And that’s why officials said beet products have been popular with public works agencies located around factories in the Midwest that process the plant.
    For much the same reason, cheese brines have been popular in parts of Wisconsin.
    In some cases, the additives are actually substances factories would normally toss out as waste, which allows public works agencies to buy them at low prices.
    Leftover by-products of distilling and brewing processes have also been used as additives in places known for beer and alcohol production, including in Massachusetts.
    Xianming Shi, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Washington State University and a leading expert on the topic, several years ago developed an effective additive from leftover, non-drinkable liquids produced by a vodka distillery in Alaska. He’s also found that other substances, such as apple pomace, work as effective additives to salt.
    Shi said a key benefit of the additives is this: They improve effectiveness of preventing ice buildup on pavement, thus allowing public works crews to buy and use less environmentally-harmful salt.
    There’s no known, cost-effective way to eliminate the need for salt entirely. But, for now, “our goal is to reduce the need for chlorides as much as possible,” said Shi. “Even reducing salt use by 20 percent would do a lot.”
    Road salt eventually gets washed into the surrounding environment and waterways, building up over time. It not only corrodes vehicles, bridges, and other infrastructure, but it also destroys plants, harms animals, and contaminates drinking water.
    But some believe that carbohydrate-based additives come with their own environmental concerns, at least temporary ones, particularly when they seep into waterways. There, they can promote bacteria growth and can also temporarily lower oxygen levels, potentially putting stress on plants and aquatic animals.
    There have been other complaints about some of the additives. They aren’t cost-effective to use in every situation. Some smell funky and feel sticky when stepped on. There have even been reports of additives clogging the equipment that sprays them on roads.
    But experts said refinements have been made over the years to try to reduce, if not eliminate, those negative side effects.
    Collins in Wellesley said he hasn’t had any of those issues with the molasses-based product they began using last winter. He said the town is open to trying other additives.
    Public works agencies “are just starting to get their feet wet with this,” said Collins. “I think you’re going to see more of a spike in people trying these products.”
    Enterprise funds, fees and cost accounting:

    Right from the Selectmen's handbook:

    User Fees and Enterprise Funds
    Property tax revenues derive from a tax rate and property values, with little or no link to the cost of
    specific government services. In contrast, user fees and charges support the provision of a specifi
    municipal service, with the users paying for the service based on the cost of providing it.

    A user fee is simply a charge to the user of a specific government service. Th underlying philosophy
    is that those who use or benefit from a program or service should pay for it. Th direct and indirect
    costs of various services are analyzed, fee mechanisms studied, and fees and rates established to
    recover the full cost of service delivery.

    It is essential to distinguish between the types of user fees. User charges are based on the goods
    and services used by an individual, group or business (e.g., sewer and water user charges). Other
    fees, such as licenses and permits, might reflect the costs of the government’s review and regulatory

    User Charges
    User charges introduce a business relationship between the user/customer and the governmental unit
    imposing the charges. The customer has the option of avoiding both the service and the charge, and
    the governmental entity provides only the level and quality of service for which users are willing to

    . . . . Enterprise Funds
    An enterprise fund accounts for the income, expense, assets and liabilities of financing specific
    services to the public, where the governing body intends to recover the costs of providing the services
    through user charges. Governmental units operate and finance these service activities in a manner
    similar to a private business or enterprise. Rates and user charges are established, either as part of
    the budget process or as a separate, formal rate-setting procedure to cover direct and indirect costs,
    including depreciation of assets, expenses, replacement or improvement of assets, and efforts to retain earnings for future capital investments.

    While sound business practices and long-term financial planning might dictate the creation of an
    enterprise fund, municipalities may also do so to achieve some broader public policy objectives.
    Some elected and appointed officials believe that those who benefit from a particular government
    program should pay for the program through user fees. These officials may conclude that an
    enterprise fund is the best mechanism for systematically accounting for all direct and indirect
    operational costs and revenues. Thus, an enterprise fund not only yields the financial data needed
    to periodically determine the required level of revenue, but also responds to public policy goals,
    management control, accountability and other objectives.

    The Templeton Town Administrator and members of the board of selectmen have been making the argument for moving collections of the sewer dept. from the sewer dept. office to the Templeton collector's office, citing past audit management letters and it would save money.

    Selectmen also told voters they needed a certain amount of dollars to pay for an infield groomer and they told voters they need certain dollars for Assessors new software and then told the Assessors the funding was in place. Both turned into to, in my opinion, lies. Did not need the amount of money asked of Town Meeting, the funding source for Vision software was not there, so now you want voters to trust you, the selectmen, on this issue.  Sorry, ah, no, I believe the office of the board of selectmen is built on a foundation of lies! (in my opinion)

    I believe denying a person of a certain department a pay raise for no real good reason, could lead to an MCAD complaint, as that action, or lack of, could be taken as discriminatory, in my opinion, any way.

    Bottom line, I do not believe this board of selectmen can be trusted.

    From: jeff bennett <>
    Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2018 7:11 AM
    To:; Selectman Caplis; Selectwoman, Diane;; Doug Morrison, Selectmen
    Subject: resident sees lack of trust
    After watching last evening selectmen meeting this A.M., I am a little concerned. From the Assessors Vision software, now to infield groomer. It seems if one attends Town Meeting, BOS meetings, capital planning meetings or budgetary meetings, it is hard to trust what one hears or is told. Presenting one thing and then doing another does not bode well for this voter anyways. Have a plan, present a plan and follow the plan. Most importantly, budget the plan rather than rely on handouts from another town department.

    On another note, I believe now is the time to begin planning, as in create one, for future snow & ice. Do not wait until next year or what ever point in time it happens, to suddenly have to buy screened sand, it is not cheap! You (highway dept.) does not have the trucks to haul it efficiently. A look at the complete costs of using sand has to be part of the plan, perhaps a task for capital or advisory committee, as it involves the spending of taxpayer money.

    Jeff Bennett
    concerned Town resident
    Chairman of the Board of Selectmen John Caplis asked the State Ethics Commission for advice about the conflict of interest law, MGL, chapter 268A.

    Mr. Caplis has a medical consulting business located in Templeton. The one thing not mentioned in the letter sent to John Caplis from the state Ethics Commission is the fact the John Caplis served as the Templeton Veterans Service officer for a few years.

    Become a Veterans Service officer for the Town, become a selectmen and then use those two positions to develop a client base and start a business to personally benefit oneself. (financially)

    That is the conclusion I come to and that is my personal opinion.

    I am interested in seeing the plan put before the Templeton Planning Board for things such as location, parking and all of those pesky things.

    The letter from Ethics is on file with the Templeton Town Clerk's office.