A Hamilton man expressed the frustration that many others are feeling on Monday night when he came before the Hamilton selectmen wondering why it has taken so long to remove snow from the school roofs.
Railroad Avenue resident Andrew Mente said he didn’t understand why the roofs of the school haven’t been cleared of snow yet.
Jennifer Scuteri, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said that the snow removal was under the direction of the , which is separate from the town.
Scuteri said she has received several call from people about the extended school closure to clear the school roofs from snow. The closure began with an early release last Tuesday.
The snow removal is not a town function, although the town government is willing to help and is helping, she said.
Scuteri said she asked school officials to attend the Hamilton Selectmen’s meeting on Monday night, anticipating that the board may field some questions about it.
“I asked them to come tonight and they just couldn’t do it,” she said.
“There’s still a lot of snow to remove,” said Town Manager Michael Lombardo, later adding that in some places on the roof there was a foot of ice and up to 10 feet of snow piled up.
Lombardo said there was concern about the roof, which had sprung a leak. The leak, he said, may have been caused by snow removal that was “a bit aggressive.”
In addition to shovels, Lombardo said he had been told about “other equipment that would raise an eyebrow” being used to clear the roofs.
Lombardo has asked Building Inspector Charles Brett to outline his concern about the school buildings to him in a memo on Tuesday, Lombardo said.
Mente told Selectmen that other towns received the same amount of snow as Hamilton and Wenham.
“Why is it taking so long?,” he asked.
In part, Assistant Superintendent Peter Gray answered some of the questions , by saying that the freezing and thawing that occurred during the weekend hardened the snow and made it wetter and heavier, slowing down the removal process on Monday.
Selectman Marc Johnson encouraged school officials to answer the questions in a section on the school district’s website.
Mente noted that nothing was done to clear the roofs at the high school and middle school on Thursday and Friday last week.
Johnson said it wasn’t until the was there concern about the school safety.
“That raised the issue,” Johnson said.
Mente also pressed the board as to why it couldn’t pressure the schools to complete the snow removal faster since the town owned Cutler and Winthrop elementary school buildings and leases them to the school district.
“No more than any regular citizen can we go over there and do anything,” Lombardo noted.
Scuteri encouraged Mente, and other with a similar concern, to attend the School Committee’s meeting on Thursday night at at 7 p.m.
“I think there’s going to be a discussion about it,” Scuteri said.