Belmont Socked With More Than A Foot-And-A- Half Of Snow From Blizzard Of ‘22

Photo: It was a bomb of a storm Saturday with 19 inches of snow left behind

While not as bad as Boston and the South Shore, Belmont received its fair share of snow and wind from the “bomb cyclone” winter storm that sat over the town for the 24 hours of Saturday, Jan. 29.

According to the Department of Public Works, the Town of Homes received 19 inches of snow that left driving nearly impossible during the afternoon hours as 50 mph winds limited visibility.

Belmont Light reported a single large outage early in the storm when 811 customers on Horace, Gilbert, Slade and Creeley lost power at 7:30 a.m. The lights were restored in just under an hour.

While the near gale forced gusts swept over the town, there were no reports of any trees lost, “but several good size limbs come down or broke and were hanging,” said DPW Director Jay Marcotte, who said that 40 pieces of equipment between the town and the town’s contractors.

“Wind and temperatures were most challenging during this storm,” said Marcotte. “Light fluffy snow causes an overspray of snow that hits the windshield and would instantly freeze. [Our] drivers needed to constantly clear windshields and with the limited visibility, it slowed things down considerably.”

Since Sunday, “clean up is still ongoing and will commence for the next few days,” he said.

No Surprise Here: Snow Emergency Parking Ban Declared Beginning Just Before Midnight On Friday, Jan. 28

Photo: It could be the big one.

With a (maybe-not-so) historic blizzard waiting on the horizon, Belmont has declared a snow emergency parking ban on all roadways as well as parking in municipal lots and Belmont Public School parking lots starting at 11:45 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28 and continuing until the town sees fit lifting it.

All vehicles parked in violation of the ban will be towed at the owner’s expense. 

The latest update from the National Weather Service at 3:22 p.m. on Friday calls for blizzard conditions for 24 hours starting at midnight, Jan. 29 with total snow accumulations of 18 to 24 inches accompanied with winds gusting as high as 60 mph. Some meteorologists this afternoon have scaled back their earlier assumptions, with one dragging it back to 12 to 16 inches.

Travel could be extremely difficult to impossible as the storm enters Saturday afternoon.

While the snow will be light and fluffy north of the Massachusetts Turnpike, blizzard winds could cause branches to land on electric wires and cut power. For anyone who losses electricity during the blizzard should call the Belmont Light Outage line at 617-993-2800. You can also follow where the lights are out by visiting the outage map at https://www.belmontlight.com/service-map/

All town, school and library activities have been cancelled for both Saturday and Sunday. 

The Department of Public Works asks residents to please exercise caution when walking on or near roadways as visibility for plow truck operators will be significantly reduced.

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Belmont Under Flood, High Wind Watch Beginning Tuesday

Photo: Gale force winds for Tuesday and Wednesday

Have your trash bins secure and pumps ready as Belmont will be under a flood and high wind watch starting early Tuesday, Oct. 26 as eastern Massachusetts will see hazardous weather until Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast, issued early Monday, Oct. 25, said steady gale force winds up to 50 mph and heavy rainfall totaling three to five inches will occur over a day and a half which may cause flooding of roads and ponding of water in low-lying areas.

As with all wind related events, power outages and structural damage will occur in tree-laden communities such as Belmont. If you experience a loss of power, call Belmont Light’s outage number at (617) 993-2800

The flood watch will go into effect at 2 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 and last until 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27 while the high wind watch will last for 24 hours beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Time To Learn About Time Of Use Rates, A Pilot Program For Belmont Light Customers

Photo: Poster for the Time of Use Rates

Over the past two years, Belmont Light, the Light Board Advisory Committee, and the Municipal Light Board have joined together to explore an innovative rate design called Time of Use Rates for Belmont Light customers. 

The coalition is currently planning to run a pilot rate program to begin late this autumn and would like to invite customers to an informational public forum to introduce the community to the concept of Time of Use Rates, to give an overview of the progress already made, and to answer any questions you might have. 

The public forum will take place Monday, July 26 at 7 p.m. in the Select Board Room at Town Hall and will be live on Zoom, as well as broadcast on Belmont Media Center channels (Comcast – ch. 8; Verizon – ch. 28). The public forum will also be recorded for future viewing. A page has been set up on the Belmont Light website with information on the public forum, a feedback form, and many more details on Time of Use Rates. 

‘Not Sexy’ But Important: Public Meeting On Future Of Belmont Light Governance Dec. 14

Photo: The future of Belmont Light’s governance will be discussed on Dec. 14.

Select Board Chair Roy Epstein said the discussion of the future of how the local electrical utility will be overseen is hardly the most alluring of topics to the general public.

But that shouldn’t prevent residents from avoiding a Zoom-based public forum hosted by the Municipal Light Board – made up of the members of the Select Board – and staff from Belmont Light to discuss and obtain public input on the governance of Belmont Light. The forum will take place on Monday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.

“This maybe not the sexiest subject but it’s a very important [one] and I hope people who are interested in town governance and in the Light Department in particular will attend,” said Epstein.

There has been much discussion over the past few years as to whether the current structure is configured correctly. This public forum has been set up to discuss and evaluate potential options for steering Belmont Light in the coming years.

There are a couple possibilities being discussed, including:

  • an independent elected board,
  • an independent appointed board, and
  • a hybrid elected/appointed board.

The Light Board is seeking all points of view so join in to discuss options and bring your own ideas and input.

To join via your computer, tablet, or smartphone: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82749875800

Join from the Zoom app by entering meeting ID: 827 4987 5800

Or call in by telephone: 1 (929) 205 6099. When prompted, enter: 827 4987 5800 #

High Wind Advisory Monday, Tree Damage, Power Outages Likely During Gusty Conditions

Photo: Trees will be buffeted by high winds this afternoon and night.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warn for Belmont and eastern Massachusetts beginning at 3 p.m., Monday, Nov. 30, and lasting until 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Residents can expect steady west winds between 20 to 30 mph with gusts between 50 to 60 mph which could result in trees or large branches coming down causing scattered power outages.

Belmont Light’s number to report power outages is 617-993-2800. Do not call 911 for a non-emergency call.

During the advisory, people should follow these precautions:

  • Use caution if you must drive. Travel will be difficult especially for high-profile vehicles such as trucks and buses. 
  • People should also avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches.
  • If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows.

Wednesday’s High Winds Create Outages In Belmont

Photo: Downed trees due to high winds are causing power outages this morning

Gusty winds are the cause of a number of moderate sized outages throughout Belmont on Wednesday morning, Sept. 30.

Belmont Light reported two distinct outage areas on the east and on the west side of town. One is located in and just to the south of Belmont Center while the other is in the Bright Road/Concord Avenue intersection.

Outage map of Belmont, Sept. 30.

“The outage on the west side of town was caused by a fallen tree on Concord Avenue,” reported the utility. It said customers in the Douglas and Gale area will be out longer as additional repairs are made.

Most customers in the Bright Road/ Baker Street neighborhood should have the lights back on by 9:30 a.m.

Belmont Superintendent John Phelan issued an email saying that the district was aware of a power outage impacting several neighborhoods in Belmont with power to be restored by approximately 10:30 a.m.

“The School Administration, principals, and teachers are aware of the inability of some students to access the internet due to these outages. Please know there is no culpability for students who are in this situation, and when power is restored, they can return to their classes,” said Phelan.

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory early this morning that will last until 1 p.m. It said for residents of Eastern Massachusetts to expect southernly winds between 15 to 25 mph with gusts between 40 and 50 mph.

If you are experiencing an outage, CALL 617-993-2800

Town of Belmont High Heat/Humidity Advisory

Photo: The heat map from the National Weather Service.

Due to the current period of high heat and humidity, the Town of Belmont encourages everyone to stay cool and hydrated and to check on elderly friends and neighbors while following good social distancing practices. 

Seniors with questions about staying cool during this especially warm period are encouraged to contact the Beech Street Center by phone at 617-993-2970

Please help Belmont save energy by reducing your electricity consumption between 4 pm and 8 pm. Reducing electricity consumption helps Belmont Light maintain a safe electric delivery system and ultimately saves you money on your bill.

Please see http://www.BelmontLight.com, Belmont Light’s Facebook page or the bottom of the page for tips on how to conserve energy at your home.  If you have any questions, please call 617-993-2800.

Here are some tips to reduce Belmont peak electricity consumption:

  • Adjust air conditioners and turn off the AC in rooms that are not used. Adjusting the thermostat even by 2-3 degrees helps.
  • Use a microwave oven or an outdoor grill instead of a stove or a regular oven.
  • Shift laundry and dishwashing activities until after 8 p.m.
  • Unplug DVRs or gaming consoles when not in use.
  • Hold off charging electric vehicles until later in the evening.

Light Board Names Asst. GM Craig Spinale To Belmont Light’s Top Post

Photo: Craig Spinale, Belmont Light

Craig Spinale will be dropping the “assistant” from his title as he was named the new General Manager at Belmont Light.

The eight-year veteran of Belmont’s independent electric utility was appointed to Belmont Light’s top position by the town’s Light Board – which is made up of the three members fo the Select Board – at a brief meeting on Monday, June 22.

“I really appreciate the confidence you putting me,” said Spinale, who will be the acting general manager on July 14 when Roy leaves until a contract is agreed.

“I’m excited to continue my work at Belmont Light and to lead the organization” in regards to green energy and Energy Saving Motors programming that we go to great pains to put in place, he said.

Negotiations on Spinale’s contract will get underway next week.

Spinale is the director of operations overseeing the day-to-day internal operations including utility line functions, customer service, meter operations, line operations, and engineering operations.

Spinale takes the helm from Chris Roy who accepted the GM’s position in Shrewsbury. Spinale was a finalist for the GM’s position in 2018 but lost out to Roy.

Before coming to Belmont in 2012, Spinale spent 14 years with National Grid as a Lead Design Engineer and a Supervisor of Distribution Design. Spinale holds an associate’s degree and bachelor’s of science from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Belmont Light’s Chris Roy Leaving To Run Shrewsbury’s Utility

Photo: Chris Roy, Belmont Light GM

Belmont Light’s General Manager Christopher Roy, who brought much needed stability to a sometimes troubled utility, is leaving his post to take over the running of the Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations.

Roy told the Light Board at its Monday, May 18 meeting that his first day in his new position will be Monday, July 13. He is replacing Mike Hale, who spent 32 years managing the utility.

“I’ve really appreciated the things we’ve been able to do so far and really enjoy the opportunity to talk transition planning,” said Roy, who was hired two years ago last month. Roy said he’s willing to provide his suggestions on the transition including personnel moves in executive session.

“I guess I can speak for the rest of us that we were surprised and disappointed but also wish you well because when you’re good, you get outside offers and that’s the way the world works,” said Belmont Light Board Chair Roy Epstein.