Mass. Communities in Need of More Snow Plow Drivers Before Weekend Storm

Public works departments in cities and towns like Franklin, Massachusetts, short on snow plow drivers this season, are looking for extra help as New England prepares for snowfall

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The Department of Public Works in Franklin, Massachusetts, is calling on all plow drivers.

Like many other towns across the commonwealth, Franklin worries its staff will be stretched too thin to cover this weekend's snowstorm.



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Nick Jolly and the folks at Aubuchon Hardware in Franklin have made sure to stock up on the season's hottest items.

Since Monday, "People have been coming in for a lot more salts and shovels," said Jolly, the store's assistant manager.

It's a sign people are preparing for a storm that's just around the corner -- a storm that can be costly to cities and towns.

"If we're going to get like two feet like they're saying, yeah, we'll push like $400,000 by the time it's done. And that's a lot of money for any community to absorb," said Franklin Public Works Director Robert "Brutus" Cantoreggi.

But money is not really an issue for Franklin, nor is salt. What's missing is the drivers and their trucks, which they are down about 20%, said Cantoreggi.

"We don't have enough trucks," he said. "We've got 220-plus miles of road in town, and so we hire outside contractors, they bring their own truck, they bring their own loader, they bring their own driver, then they are paid the appropriate rate."

That rate ranges from $120 to $200 per hour, depending on the equipment used, added Cantoreggi.

It's not just Franklin that is in need of snow plow drivers. A quick search online for low driver jobs yields results in communities including Sandwich, Wayland, Newton, Attleboro, North Andover, Worcester and Weston.

Not finding the drivers they need means those heading out this weekend to remove snow will likely work more hours, stretching crews thin.

"We're always looking for more. We keep advertising, so if you're looking, give me a call, we can get you out by this weekend," said Cantoreggi.

Franklin is also looking to hire shovelers to remove snow the old-fashioned way. Pay rates go for about $25 an hour.

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