Public Meetings Will Outline Plan for Commuter Rail Shutdown This Summer

mbta commuter railThree public meetings have been scheduled on the North Shore during the next two weeks to explain a plan to interrupt service MBTA commuter rail service in Hamilton this summer in order to install Positive Train Control (PTC) systems and make repairs to the Beverly swing bridge.

The work is planned along the Newburyport commuter rail line, which serves Hamilton-Wenham station.

None of the public meetings will be in Hamilton and the closest meeting will be at Beverly City Hall on Tuesday, May 2. A meeting is also planned at Gloucester City Hall on April 26 and a meeting at Newburyport City Hall on May 1. All of the meetings start at 6:30 p.m.

The three public meetings will provide project details, timelines and recommended alternative transportation options.

The PTC project will mean a shutdown in service each weekend from July 8 through Sept. 30. The bridge work will mean commuter rail service will be completely shut down north of the Salem commuter rail station for 28 days, from July 17 through Aug. 13.

Hamilton Town Manager Michael Lombardo said he plans to attend the meeting and advocate for  bus service from each station to Salem – at a minimum.

The PTC project is federally-mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration Rail Safety Improvement Act. PTC is designed to improve safety by preventing train-to-train collisions, over speed derailments and unexpected movement of trains through “open” switches, according to the MBTA.

Pool Memberships Now For Sale Online Too

pool-newPool membership registrations are now being accepted online, according to Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Director Sean Timmons.

Anyone who buys a membership online for the Veterans Memorial Pool at Patton Park will need to make arrangements to pick up the pool pass at the Recreation Department office. Pool passes will not be mailed. Pool memberships are only available to residents of Hamilton and Wenham.

Pool registration is also available during regular hours at the Recreation Department office, which is next to Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, at 16 Union St. in Hamilton.

Each person in the membership will receive a pass that will be scanned in at the pool at each your visit. Guest passes are also now available for sale and can be purchased online or at the Rec office.

Anyone with problems registering online can call the Rec office at 978-468-2178.

Swim team registration is also open and is available online. There is a discounted rate for swim team members who are part of a pool membership.

Registration for swim lessons are also available online.  Swim lessons and the swim team are both available to non-residents.

Membership prices range from $55 for an individual senior membership to $180 for a family membership. The pool is scheduled to open on June 10.

Sign Up for Emergency Alerts Via Phone, Text, Email and App

code redA new, more robust community notification system is being rolled out to Hamilton residents and businesses this week.

Police Chief Russell Stevens told the Board of Selectmen this week that the town has licensed the CodeRED Community Notification System to help disseminate important or critical information to residents and businesses in town.

The system uses phone calls, emails, text messages and social media to get out information about everything ranging from evacuations, flood and fires to planned road closures or water main repairs. When signing up, residents have the option or getting only emergency alerts or also getting more general alerts and announcements. Residents can add as many phone numbers, text numbers and emails addresses as they want.

“We encourage all residents and businesses to go to the town website, click on the CodeRED logo to enter your contact information – including additional phone numbers, text numbers and email addresses – to ensure all of the data in our system is accurate and current,” Stevens said.

The CodeRED login page can also be reached directly and there is also a mobile app for Apple and Android smartphones – go to the App Store or Google Play and search for CodeRED.

There is no cost to residents to use the service and all of the information will be kept private.

For anyone that uses call blocking, they will want to add two numbers to the allowed number list – 866-419-500 for emergency calls and 855-969-4636 for general alerts.

CodeRED is used by many other local communities and replaces a notification system from BlackBoard Connect that the town had been using. The official changeover will happen before June 30.

If you do not have Internet access, contact a friend or family member to help add your contact information to the CodeRED database, Stevens said. If needed, residents can also call the Hamilton Emergency Communications Center at 978-468-1212 for assistance.

Apply Now for Hamilton DPW Summer Jobs

hamilton dpw truck closeupThe Hamilton Department of Public Works is looking for some seasonal employees for the summer.

The positions are for 12 weeks starting on May 15 and the pay is $12 per hour. The jobs will include typical seasonal DPW work, including maintenance of parks, cemeteries and municipal buildings.

All candidates need to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Employees will also have to pass a background check and drug screening.

A complete job description and application can be found on the town website. Applications should be sent via email to Dolores Sheehan , administrative assistant for the DPW, at dsheehan@hamiltonma.gov.

 

 

Permitted Fire Spreads, Damages Shed

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA permitted fire got out of control on Sagamore Street on Friday afternoon, according to Fire Chief Philip Stevens.

The fire department responded to 175 Sagamore St. at about 2:30 p.m. In addition to Hamilton firefighters, Essex Engine 1 also helped battle the fire. Firefighters also got help from a Hamilton DPW backhoe. In addition to the brush, the fire also damaged a shed on the property, Stevens said.

Firefighters used water from the fire hydrant on Sagamore Street near Blueberry Lane, which may cause some brown water in the area.

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Patriots Day Means Trash Pickup Delay

hamilton trashPatriots Day on Monday, April 17, will mean that trash pickup will be delayed by a day later in the week.

Trash, recycling and organics collection will start on Thursday, April 20 and run through Saturday, April 22 in Hamilton.

If your usual pickup day is Wednesday it will instead be Thursday and pickup will be pushed back by a day for the rest of the week.

If your trash, organics, and recycling is not picked up on your scheduled day, contact Casella Waste Systems, the town’s trash contractor, at 978-548-4427. For any other questions or problems related to trash, recycling and organics, call the Hamilton Department of Public Works at 978-468-5580.

Chebacco Lake Boat Ramp Set to Reopen for the Year

chebacco lake 2017The Chebacco Lake boat ramp is set to open for the year on Friday.

The ramp has been closed because of the high water, according to Hamilton Police Lt. Scott Janes. The Hamilton Department of Public Works will be asked to move away the cement blocks from the ramp on Friday, he said.

As the boating season returns, here are a few reminders about boating safety and the rules on Chebacco Lake:

  • Boaters should be mindful of their wake and how close they are to the shoreline
  • Personal watercraft (jetskis) are banned on Chebacco Lake.
  • The suggested traffic pattern around the lake is counterclockwise to reduce the possibility of a collision.

State boating law requires a waterskiing spotter 12-year-old or older and requires boaters age 13 and under to wear a PFD. The complete Massachusetts boating laws are available on the state website.

The Chebacco Lake boat ramp is off Chebacco Lake in Hamilton, just past the former town beach near the town line with Manchester-by-the-Sea. In addition to a ramp, there is parking for 17 vehicles with trailers. It is managed by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The lake is half in Hamilton and half in Essex. The lake is 209-acres in size and varies in depth from 9-22 feet. It is popular for boating, swimming, waterskiing and fishing.

In case of an emergency, always call 911. To reach the Hamilton harbormaster, call 978-468-4421. In Essex, to reach the harbormaster call 978-768-6628.