Our responsibility to public safety is to maintain a safe passageway for motor, emergency, and school bus traffic for more than four hundred miles of roadway. With the weather challenges that Haverhill is faced with, between snow and ice storms, thunderstorms, windstorms, flooding, and hurricanes, you can feel safe knowing that your Highway Department is well-prepared for any natural occurrence.
The City's Park & Tree Department is one of Haverhill's least known assets. This department's task is to maintain and beautify over one hundred acres of parkland that Haverhill owns. This is a duty of which the employees of the Park Department are proud, as they achieve the maintenance of the playing fields, mowing, seeding, fertilization, autumn cleaning, and all other aspects which are required to maintain our beautiful parks. All of this is done with a crew of only five men.
The Tree Division is posing one of the greatest management challenges to date. Due to budgetary cut backs with the City's current financial status, we have been limited to a two-man tree crew, thus not allowing us a daily tree removal and pruning crew for a consistently increasing tree work maintenance list.
As times change, we at the Haverhill Highway Department would like to think we have changed with them. Due to budget changes created by proposition 2 ½ more than twenty years ago, the Highway Department lost much of its labor force which it has never able to regain. In order to keep up with a growing city with an aging infrastructure, we had to mechanize in order to keep on top of the growing tasks. With the fleet of specialized equipment that we have been able to obtain over the years, the department has been able to keep much of the road construction in the Department, which otherwise would have gone out to bid, costing the taxpayers more money. The Highway Department has been fortunate in the past fifteen years to institute a paving program, which on average has been able to repave or rebuild more than twenty-five to thirty streets per year.
In the past ten years, the City has been State-mandated to remove a percentage of solid waste from our curbside trash removal. In partnership with the Health Department, we have been able to create a full-service recycling center. This provides taxpayers to bring their yard waste, such as brush & leaves, as well as household recycling products to the center at 500 Primrose Street. This responsibility has created a new workload for an already understaffed work force. For example, the leaves we bring in need to be managed and worked all year long at our compost facility while the composting process takes place. All brush that is delivered to the recycling yard also will need to be processed before it is hauled away as woodchips. In the spring of each year the Highway Department begins a complete sweeping program of the city to allow all the sand that was spread over the streets during the winter to be removed. It is then brought back to 500 Primrose Street and mixed with the excavated hot top and material we accumulate through the year, and then put through a crushing operation allowing us to use a recycled product in our trenches as opposed to buying new gravel.
One of the most important duties which the Haverhill Highway Department has that will never be forgotten is that we are here to serve the public in any way we can. We also are a support staff for many other departments in city government and local community organizations. It is the Haverhill Highway Department's motto to be PREPARED, PRECISE & PRODUCTIVE.
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Office of the Mayor
City of Haverhill, Massachusetts
City Hall, Room 100, 4 Summer Street, Haverhill, MA 01830
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