Preparing for the snow in Southbridge, Massachusetts, has some homeowners ready to plow the streets themselves after a developer told the community he could no longer afford to maintain them.
After getting the news in December, neighbors started taking up a collection to hire private contractors when needed. They fear they do not have enough money to cover Thursday’s predicted snowfall and will have to ask for money again.
“Instead of paying another bill we are paying for snow because it’s more important,” homeowner Elizabeth Hoffman said.
The letter came in early December from developer Jay Pelletz. He never finished the Hunter’s Ridge development or another one on Hilltop Drive and now he claims he does not have the money to plow them.
So far calls to Pelletz have not been answered.
The town has had meetings with the frustrated residents and says they are taking steps to resolve the issue with the property manager and the bank.
Town Manager Ron San Angelo could not be reached Wednesday, but said back in December that the town could not simply take over the streets.
“We can’t be put other taxpayers in the town at a liability if we go plow a road that doesn’t meet town standards,” San Angelo said.
The streets are riddled with potholes and the town wants them fixed beforehand, but so far no one wants to pay to get the job done.
“It seems like a never ending battle,” homeowner Anthony Mwangi said.
For now, a garbage barrel full of sand sits at the front of the subdivision for anyone who wants to take clean up into their own hands before the money runs out.