Q1. I’m told that my street is “unaccepted”. What does that mean and how do I get my street accepted answer?
Streets are constructed generally under the jurisdiction of the Medway Planning Board. They begin with the intent of being a private way with a right-of-way not owned and maintained by the Town, or a public way, which has a right-of-way owned and maintained by the Town. Private ways usually service just a few homes where it is not in the owner’s nor the Town’s best interest to construct a full road. The more common construction is for a public way built by a developer to the Town’s design standards as published by the Planning Board. The Planning Board requires bonding for the roadway construction and monitors construction to ensure that a road is built to Town’s standards. Until a roadway is accepted by Town Meeting, it is considered a private way with all associated maintenance costs born by the owner(s). Click here
for a list of unaccepted streets.
When a roadway is complete with no outstanding items left in its construction, the Planning Board holds a hearing to ensure that all parties agree that the road is built to standards. If no problems are identified (at least none that can not be quickly remedied), the Planning Board makes a recommendation to Town Meeting to accept the roadway. Accepted streets become Town property and Town responsibility. Click here for a list of accepted streets. Roads that are not accepted by Town Meeting action are called “unaccepted streets.” They usually have a range of issues/problems
associated with them that the developer is either working to resolve or has chosen to leave incomplete. The Planning Board may or may not have sufficient funds to complete the roadway. Every case is unique and should be discussed with the Medway Planning Board.
Q2. Are there any plans to fix my road and/or sidewalk?
In recent years, the Town has appropriated funds specifically for major roadway and sidewalk restoration. In addition, the State provides added funding on an annual basis. These funds are limited and restricted to the type of repairs permitted. Roads must be over 500 feet long and sidewalk/crosswalk work is not allowed unless part of a larger road project. The DPS provides a plan that is approved annually by the Board of Selectmen and Capital Improvement Planning Committee. The current plan is listed on the DPS Highway & Fleet web page. You may contact the DPS office at Town Hall at 508-533-3275 for more information.
Q3. Can I get reimbursed for damage by a plow to my mailbox?
Yes. You may submit a Mailbox Damage Claim Form. Please note that these are capped at one claim per year with a flat rate reimbursement of $25, no exceptions.
Q4. Can I get reimbursed for damage caused by a pothole or other road defect?
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a claim for damage caused to a vehicle by a road defect will generally not be honored. The Town of Medway has taken a slightly more lenient stance on this issue. In cases where the Town was aware of a road defect and took no corrective action within 24 hours of the reported problem, we grant some relief. Any claims filed for damage that occurred after the 24 hour period will be considered. Please note that it is rare that a major defect will not be corrected within a 24 hour period.
To submit a claim, you must file a police report of the incident and submit a copy to the Town Administrator’s office at Town Hall along with any invoices for repairs. The reimbursement amount, if any, is completely at the Town Administrators discretion and is usually capped at $100.
Q5. I see a tree that is dead or dying that should be removed. How do I report it?
Q6. Do I need permission to work in the roadway or at the road edge?
Yes. Per the Town of Medway By-Law Section 12.9, any work planned in the right-of-way, whether on the pavement, sidewalk, or grass area off the pavement, all require a street opening permit. This is also true for new driveway openings or when re-building driveways at the right-of-way. Roads and sidewalks are laid out in a public right-of-way owned by the Town. These rights-of-way usually run from 50 to 60 feet wide. Pavement is usually set in the middle of the right-of-way, but extends no more than 40 feet in width typically. The permit application and fee structure is set by the DPS. We also publish Street Standards governing how the work is performed. Applicants must possess suitable insurance protecting the Town of Medway from liability to be issued a street opening / roadway access permit.
Q7. Does the Town supply ice melt salt to residents?
The Town provides ice melt salt for resident use at the Recycling Center located on Broad Street. You must have a resident sticker to gain access to the facility provided by the Department of Public Services. Access is only available when the facility is open on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. No exceptions. Plan accordingly. Quantities are limited to 5 gallon buckets supplied by the resident. Larger quantities will be refused.
Q8. How do I place a message on the signboard located on Rt. 109 near Choate Park?
Q9. How can I request a new blue street sign for my street?
No special requests required unless you live on a private way. The Town has changed over all of its street signs to the reflective blue type. The work was staged over seberal years and is now complete. If you live on a private way, the street sign is the responsibility of the residents. We will be happy to give you the name of our supplier so you can order a sign and have a local contractor install it.
Q10. How can I request a new traffic control sign, i.e. speed limit, go slow, no parking, etc.?
Complete a Traffic Sign Application Form and submit it to the DPS office at Town Hall. We review your request in connection with the Medway Police Safety Officer. We provide traffic control signs in the public right-of-way only that work to protect public safety, are enforceable by law enforcement officers, and are reasonable given the specific location and environment. Requests that do not meet these minimum standards will not be acted upon.
Q11. How do I report a pothole or other hazard in the roadway?
In situations that are not urgent, you may contact the DPS office at the Town Highway Facility at 508-533-3221 or at Town Hall at 508-533-3275. However, neither office is staffed after regular business hours or during the weekend. If the situation warrants immediate attention, contact the Medway Police Department at 508-533-3212. They will notify our on-call staff for an immediate response.
Q12. How do I report a streetlight out or not working properly?
The Town of Medway has contracted our streetlight maintenance to the Republic Electric Company. For best response or to report an emergency situation, call 1-800-LIGHTS-ON. You can also leave a report at the Republic ITS web site. Crews are dispatched every few weeks, so you will not see an immediate response unless it is an emergency. If you are not satisfied with the response, please contact the DPS office at Town Hall at 508-533-3275.
Q13. My driveway opening needs to be repaved/repaired. Is this the Town's responsibility since it's their property?
The driveway is your responsibility to the point where it meets the gutter line of the street (call it the travel way). This does put responsibility on the homeowner for a portion of public property as you don’t own the sidewalk or a section of the road shoulder. The rational is that the opening and access is granted to the property by request of the property owner and permitted by the Town. Part of that request and approval is the understanding that the access will be maintained by the property owner. Think of it like snow plowing where we plow the street, but you need to clear your own opening even though it is Town property.
Q14. Where in Public Services do my tax dollars go?
In Medway, about 4.5 cents on every dollar in tax revenue goes to supporting roadways, non-school buildings, vehicles, and parks. This includes the cost of employee benefits for workers in DPS.
Q15. What is the Department of Public Services?
The Department of Public Services (DPS) is an integrated department directly responsible for the activities of Building Maintenance, Highway, Water & Sewer, Vehicle Maintenance, Environmental Services including Solid Waste/Recycling and Parks (by special arrangement with the Board of Park Commissioners) and the Tree Warden.
Highways and supporting infrastructure represent the Town’s largest asset both in terms of physical size and value. The DPS is responsible for the construction, repair and maintenance of all public ways in the town. This encompasses approximately eighty- eight (88) miles of roadway. Maintenance of this transportation network includes the paved portions, the unpaved right-of-way, the storm water drainage system, traffic control, lighting, and signage.
Building Maintenance is charged with the responsibility of providing repair and maintenance services for eight municipal buildings and facilities, with the exception of School Department facilities. These services include design, construction, installation, repair and periodic preventative maintenance, as required.
Vehicle Maintenance is responsible for the fuel, preventative maintenance, and major repairs of the town's vehicular fleet, with the exception of school buses. This fleet now numbers over eighty (80) vehicles including police cruisers, fire apparatus, ambulances, highway, water/sewer, and other miscellaneous vehicles.
The Water and Sewer Division is charged with the operation and maintenance of the Town’s water supply, water treatment, water distribution and wastewater collection systems. This entails oversight of the system’s pumping and treatment facilities located at four (4) drinking-water well sites. Being a groundwater system, the Town treats its raw water with the addition of sodium fluoride for dental health, lime for corrosion control and sodium hypochlorite for disinfection. All of these treatment processes require daily manual monitoring by certified staff as well as with the Department’s recently installed Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. Drinking water is pumped to two (2) water storage tanks having a combined capacity of 2.8 million gallons.
The wastewater system is comprised of approximately forty-four miles of gravity sewer that discharges into the treatment facility operated by the Charles River Pollution Control District. Through its recent sewer extension project, the Department now operates and maintains a sewer pump station located in the Trotter Drive Industrial Park area.
The Environmental Services Division is charged with regular and bulk trash collection, organic waste disposal, recycling collection, household hazardous waste disposal, and solid waste education and enforcement. Included within the Division of Environmental Services is the managed care of the Town’s fifty-five (55) acres of passive and active recreational areas under the jurisdiction of the Board of Park Commissioners. Also held within this unit is the oversight of the Town’s Street and Shade Tree program managed by the Department’s statutory Tree Warden designee.
Q16. I am experiencing unusual flooding on my property what can I do?
Check to see if any nearby catchbasin grates are free of brush, leaves, snow or other debris and clear off the top of the grate to allow for proper draining. Do not ever lift or open a public catchbasin. If the problem persists you should contact the DPS Office at (508) 533-3275 so a technician can determine the cause of the issue, resolve it or recommend a solution. If there has been no recent precipitation then the cause of sudden flood or buildup of water could be due to a water break which the Town should investigate. Please note that the Town is not responsible for the maintenance of any private drainage systems and it is not permissible to discharge any substance into the Town's drainage system.
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