Mayor Michelle Wu today joined City officials at the Public Works yard on Frontage Road to discuss winter preparations currently underway in the City of Boston and resources available to residents including older adults and individuals experiencing homelessness.
“The City is ready to support Boston residents through inclement winter weather and in keeping energy bills down as temperatures drop,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Our City departments are working around the clock to keep our communities safe, and I encourage Bostonians to utilize City services and look out for vulnerable neighbors.”
The Public Works Department (PWD) currently has 44,000 tons of salt on-hand to treat City streets. PWD has 175 pieces of in-house snow clearing equipment and has the capability to place over 800 additional pieces on the roads during larger storms. As part of their neighborhood plowing operations during winter storms and to ensure the safety of riders following events, PWD allocates pieces of equipment to clear snow from Boston’s dedicated bike lanes.
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) monitors forecasts and maintains open lines of communication with the National Weather Service. OEM also works across City departments and with external partners to ensure coordinated response plans are in place leading up to extreme weather events. Residents can sign up to receive AlertBoston, the City’s emergency mass notification system, notifications by phone, text, or email in the event a snow emergency/parking ban is declared. Safety tips on how to prepare for winter storms are on boston.gov. AlertBoston notifications are available in 11 languages.
This year, two Boston-based minority-owned businesses will assist the Public Works Department during snow and ice control operations clearing City-owned stairways and footpaths. Both contracts are part of the City of Boston’s Sheltered Market Program to advance equity in procurement with direct outreach support from the Department of Supplier and Workforce Diversity. These contracts were awarded to A & M Home Services and Mass Trucking as three year contracts (the contracts awarded last year to minority-owned businesses were for a one year duration). Both A & M Home Services and Mass Trucking are owned by people of color and are located in Roxbury.
As temperatures drop and utility costs are expected to rise, Mayor Wu is reminding residents, small businesses, and local organizations to opt in to Boston Community Choice Electricity (BCCE). This City-run program gives residents three options for electricity pricing and renewable energy. On Monday, Mayor Wu announced the City of Boston has increased the default renewable energy content by an additional 15% beyond state requirements to support the transition to a regional clean energy grid. Since the beginning of the program, the BCCE Standard rates have been lower than Eversource Basic Rates. The average resident that uses 600 kilowatt hours of electricity a month on the BCCE Standard option is expected to save nearly $15 per month compared to the Eversource Basic Service Residential rate ($0.17251/kWh). Individuals interested in learning more should visit Boston.gov/BCCE.