Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on May 6, 2021

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It’s time for another open thread. What’s on your mind this week, Southborough?

For those of you new to the blog, the open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Ask questions about programs in town or the town itself
  • Post a note about things that you’re selling or giving away, or things that you want
  • Share notices about upcoming events (Southborough or otherwise)
  • Register your thoughts on town issues or news stories
  • Point out interesting or helpful resources

You can add comments to the thread throughout the week. Check back often to see new comments. (If you read the blog via email or RSS, you might want to check the site from time to time for new comments.)

To view past open discussion threads, click here.

(photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Richard May 6, 2021 at 4:29 PM

For at least the last several months, I’ve heard heavy, multiengine, propeller-driven aircraft flying high over Southborough at least once a day, and sometimes more than that. My guess is that these are military transports headed to Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. I’m just curious if others have heard the same thing, or if anyone has verified the nature of these flights.


2 beth May 7, 2021 at 9:16 AM

I’m not sure what you mean by the multiengine aircraft.

Since you also refer to propellers, I’m wondering if it’s possible it’s the National Grid copter which police warned would be hovering around this spring. (If so, you can read an explanation of what they’re up to here.) But it sounds to me like you may be referring to a larger kind of aircraft.


3 Richard May 7, 2021 at 5:26 PM

Hi, Beth. It’s definitely a multi-engine heavy aircraft, not a helicopter. Three have flown over us this afternoon (Fri., May 7).

Sara, thank you. I have looked at Flightradar24, but military flights are generally not shown.


4 Sara May 7, 2021 at 9:49 AM

I haven’t heard that but the app Flightradar24 will show you what is flying over you and the path. It’s really cool!


5 Kathryn C Korostoff June 11, 2021 at 1:30 PM

Thank you Sara!! Just downloaded the app with the 2 week free trial. Very interesting!


6 Philip Robbins May 6, 2021 at 7:24 PM

On the subject of the fire dept wanting a tank truck I have a question for the fire chief. Will this truck carry a portable pool? With a pool on board a tanker wouldn’t just be used to directly supply a pumper with water. At a large fire, particularly a large brush fire the pool would be set up for pumpers to pump out of while the tanker and mutual aid tankers go to the nearest hydrant or pond to refill. I know this truck is another large expenditure after just approving a new pumper last year and I know some people will view it as extravagant. I think back to 2009 when the FD was looking at a ladder/tower truck which was $900,000. I heard people say that there was no need for it. My response was, “When you’re trapped on the second or third floor of your large house by fire in the middle of the night and there’s three feet of snow on the ground which would make it very difficult to get ground ladders to you, that ladder truck would save your life.” If a piece of equipment saves one life–your life–isn’t that worth the price tag? All this equipment and water main extensions or the lack of them also affects everyone’s property insurance rates. I’d also like to address my previous comment about staffing levels. If we were able to find the means to build a $25 million fire/police station and another $2 million for trucks, maybe it’s time to find the funding to increase the number of firefighters we have. Having four or five people on a shift is in my mind dangerous. If the ambulance is out of town and there’s a fire call, sending a couple of people into a fire situation is irresponsible. I don’t want to sound like I’m ignoring the police dept, which I’m sure could also use more staff, but fire safety has always been a priority with me.


7 Southern Breeze May 6, 2021 at 7:54 PM

Anyone else experiencing booms and thumps? We are down near the Finn school and for the last few days we have been get seismic activity and sound during the day and evening hours. Feels like large trucks driving by every few minutes or frequent small earthquakes accompanied by low level sound vibrations.


8 southsider May 8, 2021 at 8:43 AM

There have been some evenings when I’ve stood outside to try and discern where the sounds ( heavy machinery? ) I also heard were coming from…but haven’t figured it out.

Sounds to me like some kind of major construction activity….


9 Southern Breeze May 12, 2021 at 3:22 PM

It was pretty loud last night between 8 and 11 or so. I stepped outside and got a distinct asphalt smell. Are they paving the Pike again perhaps?


10 Theo May 12, 2021 at 4:40 PM

Could it be the bridge replacement project ( and They’re doing a couple of bridges in Southborough right now with paving (etc.)…
I think one of the bridges being replaced is over by Finn.


11 Townie May 7, 2021 at 1:27 PM

Last year there was a couple hearings regarding tree removal around town. I still see dead/nuisance trees with tags on them from the DPW about removal. Any update on when this work will happen?


12 Theo May 7, 2021 at 7:57 PM

Along the topic of trees, I noticed today that there was a tree in really bad shape in the Old Burial Ground, by the sidewalk. It’s an old pine, I think, that is completely hollow and looks like it’s ready to snap any day (split right up the side). Does anyone know how to report these things? It would be a shame for it to come down and damage the other nearby trees or other property when it does.


13 Interested May 10, 2021 at 1:03 PM

I’ve noticed that tree as well. I’ve been meaning send an email to the DPW about it, so thanks for the reminder, I’ll do that this afternoon.


14 Interested May 11, 2021 at 2:01 PM

Just drove by, the tree is now gone!


15 cordavillain May 9, 2021 at 12:58 AM

some of those have come down recently in our part of town, so it’s in progress.


16 southsider May 8, 2021 at 11:52 AM

Any suggestions on local non-profits who might help in placing unwanted funriture or housewares in the homes of needy residents ( Soithborough or nearby ).


17 donate May 10, 2021 at 10:39 AM

Fresh Start Furniture Bank is in Hudson


18 southsider May 10, 2021 at 10:52 AM



19 m May 8, 2021 at 8:30 PM

If you take the new Survey for the town, beware of question 19. It does not give you the chance to answer “none at all”, when asking about setting your priorities for 5 future projects. If you select “none”, then it assumes you want to defund other areas of town for those projects. There was no place in the survey to say you want NO tax increase at all for any of those projects. And it does not allow you to go back and delete your response.


20 beth May 10, 2021 at 8:54 AM

I see what you are saying about “none” issue. However, I didn’t have any trouble going back and forth to make changes – so I’m confused about that part of your comment. In addition, if you have concerns – want to clarify something about your response, there is a general comment area at the end of the survey. Although it’s not the stated intent, you could always note in that field a concern you had about the questions and clarify what you wanted to respond.


21 beth May 10, 2021 at 8:57 AM

For those who don’t know what survey “m” and I are referring to, the Town is asking residents to offer feedback on services, priorities, etc. You can find details here and the survey at


22 Mary May 10, 2021 at 10:07 AM

Hi Southsider, Fresh Start Furniture Bank in Hudson takes furniture, kitchen appliances, dishes, and a lot more. You can read about who is eligible to receive donations on the website.


23 southsider May 10, 2021 at 10:50 AM

thanks, Mary


24 Jess Devine May 11, 2021 at 9:11 AM

St. Mark’s Road at the corner of Rt. 85 is constantly flooded and now has potholes. It’s a total mess to navigate. There have been utility trucks there lately (unsure if they are working on that issue or something unrelated) but the flooding continues. Anyone know if this is a Southborough DPW issue or who should be fixing this problem? Thanks!


25 Melissa Shields May 12, 2021 at 8:40 PM

They were trying to divert the pooled water yesterday and they filled the huge pothole in the middle of the road this afternoon. Obviously, there is much more work that needs to be done to address drainage. I’m not sure who is responsible for the repairs so a call to the DPW may be a start to find answers.


26 KathrynK May 11, 2021 at 1:09 PM

Does anyone have the link to the info on the noise issue/possible proposal for updating noise limitations? There was a very helpful woman at the transfer station this past weekend who had a display with some great info, but I lost the link she was sharing.


27 beth May 11, 2021 at 1:25 PM

Good question. Last spring, proponents shared a link. But when I went to use it today, I got a message that the site had been removed. I’ll reach out to proponents.


28 beth May 11, 2021 at 3:27 PM
29 KathrynK May 11, 2021 at 6:26 PM



30 Trixie May 12, 2021 at 9:00 AM

The turnout for yesterday’s town election was 11.9%, a shamefully low number for an election that included a Selectman’s race. The unofficial numbers show Michael Weishan losing by only 27 votes. If you didn’t vote, don’t complain.


31 Lisa D May 13, 2021 at 11:03 AM

Noise Bylaw information stop-by at the transfer station on Saturday between 10am and 2pm. The proposed Noise Bylaw (Article 37) will be voted on at Town meeting- May 22.

Currently we don’t have a bylaw and if you make a noise complaint to the police they may respond but there is no guarantee that the issue will be resolved. No bylaw = no enforcement. A bylaw passed by the residents and approved by the Attorney General will provide clear guidelines to residents and service providers on time restrictions and appropriate noise levels to protect the health and well being of our residents and workers. It will also provide the enforcing body guidelines on how to evaluate and resolve complaints.

If you can’t make the stop-by and want more information visit the blog at Be ready for Town Meeting!


32 WHY is Northborough Road CLOSED? June 10, 2021 at 10:17 AM

…and, where was the advance WARNING?

HELLO?!? Put up signs stating something like “this road to be closed at in order to to be reopened by “.

One day it’s open, the next day it’s closed.


File this under “responsible” behavior of town government…


33 beth June 11, 2021 at 12:34 PM

The reason there was no notice was that it wasn’t a planned construction event. It was an emergency response.

The section of Northborough Road that is closed is due to a collapsed culvert that makes navigating the road too dangerous. I checked in with the DPW this morning to confirm – currently there is no estimate on the timeframe for that getting fixed.


34 Frank Crowell June 13, 2021 at 9:49 AM

Could this be a look at a future education meeting in Southborough?


35 Dave June 16, 2021 at 6:44 AM

Hi, I moved to Southborough last summer, in the midst of the pandemic, and I’ve enjoyed this web page as a way of getting to know the town. I’m writing to get some information on how the “swap” part of the Transfer Station works. I read the town web site on the Transfer Station rules, but if anyone has some additional information from your experience, I would appreciate it. I guess I’m particularly interested in donating material.


36 beth June 16, 2021 at 9:04 AM

As long as you have a Transfer Station permit, you can just park near the Swap Shop sheds and bring in and leave an item. It should be something you think someone else might really want – not broken or terrible condition. Ideally, it should be placed in a way people can see what it is, not a big bag of random junk.

Then anyone with a permit (including you) can just pick up and take anything they want.


37 Dave June 16, 2021 at 11:44 AM

Thanks Beth – that’s very helpful! Does this include books as well?


38 beth June 17, 2021 at 8:17 AM

Yes, you can drop off books there. At least one of the shacks should have a shelf with lots of books to add to and pickup.

(Normally, you can also donate books to the Library for Friends of the Library book sale fundraisers. But we aren’t taking more donations until closer to the Heritage Day sale in October since the room of donated books is apparently bursting at the seems right now.)


39 Dave June 17, 2021 at 11:45 AM

Thanks so much for all the information!


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