Town of Agawam, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 155-1 Department of Public Works established.

A Department of Public Works is hereby established for the town, to be under the control of a Superintendent of the Department. The Superintendent shall be appointed by the Mayor. This Department shall include the Water, Highway, Sewer and Engineering Departments.

§ 155-2 Temporary repairs on private streets.

[Amended 9-18-1989 by TOR-89-15]
A. 
Pursuant to MGL C. 40, § 6N, the Agawam Department of Public Works is authorized to make temporary repairs to private ways and unaccepted streets that have been open to public use for a minimum of six years.
B. 
Such repairs shall include the filling of holes in the subsurface of such ways and repairs to the surface materials thereof. Materials for such repairs, where practical, should be the same as or similar to those used for the existing surfaces of such ways, but may include surfacing the ways with bituminous materials, including but not limited to bituminous concrete.
C. 
Drainage, as determined by the Department of Public Works to be necessary as a result of the repairs, may also be done. Said repairs need not be requested by a petition of the abutters, but may be initiated by the Department of Public Works upon the determination that the repairs are required by public necessity.
D. 
There shall be no betterment assessments for these repairs, nor shall a cash deposit from any abutters be required.
E. 
The Town of Agawam shall not be liable on account of any damage whatsoever caused by such repairs, and MGL C. 84, § 25, shall not apply. The Town of Agawam shall not be liable to any abutter for any claim arising out of said repairs.

§ 155-3 Establishment and maintenance of sidewalks.

The Town Council may, if in its judgment the public convenience so requires, establish and grade sidewalks in the streets and may assess the abutters on such sidewalks 1/2 the cost thereof, the residue to be paid by the town. No such sidewalk shall be dug up or obstructed without the consent of the Town Council or the Mayor. The Town Council may, if in its judgment the public convenience so requires, grade and construct sidewalks and complete partially constructed sidewalks in any street with or without edgestones, may cover the same with brick, flat stones, concrete, gravel or other appropriate material and may assess not more than 1/2 of the costs proportionally upon the abutters on such sidewalks; but no abutter shall be assessed an amount exceeding 1% of the valuation of his abutting estate as fixed by the last preceding annual assessment for taxes. There shall be a deduction from the assessment for sidewalks so constructed with edgestones and covered any amount previously assessed upon the abutting land and paid for the cost of the construction in any other manner of such sidewalk. Such deduction shall be made proportionately from the assessment upon abutters who are owners of the land in respect of which such former assessments were paid. Such sidewalks when so constructed and covered shall be maintained at the expense of such town. In estimating the damage sustained by the construction of such sidewalks, the benefit, if any, to the property of the party by reason thereof shall be allowed in setoff.

§ 155-4 Excavations.

A. 
No person, officers or boards having authority to repair or construct highways or a person acting under the authority of any of them shall dig up, open or excavate in any street without first obtaining permission, in writing, so to do from the Department of Public Works and, if the Mayor so requires, executing and delivering to the town an agreement under seal to indemnify the town and save it harmless from all loss, cost or damage caused to it thereby and to replace the material and substances so dug up or removed to the satisfaction of the Department of Public Works. Such permission shall state the place where and the manner in which such opening or excavation may be made. Whoever does so open, dig up or excavate in any street shall properly guard such opening or excavation and the substance or material removed therefrom and shall keep the same properly lighted from sunset until sunrise.
B. 
No person shall dig up, cut up or despoil any portion of any street, except that any owner whose land abuts upon any street may grade or otherwise beautify such street immediately in front of his own parcel in such manner as will not interfere with public travel in the spaces in such street reserved or generally used for such travel.

§ 155-5 Congregating to obstruct free passage prohibited.

Three or more persons shall not stand together or near each other in any street, sidewalk or on any footwalk in the town so as to obstruct the free passage for foot passengers, and any persons so standing shall move on immediately after a request to do so by the Chief of Police or any police officer.

§ 155-6 Obstructing streets prohibited.

A. 
No person shall allow a horse or vehicle under his control to stand or be driven in any street in such a manner as to unreasonably obstruct travel in the same.
B. 
No person shall allow any vehicle under his control while not in use to stand in any street, nor shall he use any portion of any street for storing the same.
C. 
No person shall place any chattels whatsoever in or upon any portion of any street so as to block or obstruct the same.
D. 
No person shall hitch or tie or allow his horse or other animal to be hitched or tied to any tree in any street.

§ 155-7 Obstructions near intersections prohibited.

No person shall grow, cause to grow, construct, cause to be constructed or maintain any shrubs, trees, plants, fences or other things to any height at or near any intersection of ways within the town which shall obstruct the view of operators of vehicles passing along the traveled way.

§ 155-8 Depositing certain materials prohibited.

A. 
No person shall throw or place or cause to be thrown or placed any ashes, cinders, garbage, refuse or decaying or other foreign matter in any street.
B. 
No person shall throw or place or cause to be thrown or placed in any street or upon any sidewalk any glass, broken crockery, scrap iron, nails, whole or broken bottles or any other article that would be liable to injure the feet of horses or pedestrians or injure or damage the tires of bicycles or any other vehicle which as wheels with tires composed in whole or in part of rubber.

§ 155-9 Water flow from private property onto streets.

A. 
No person shall allow water, drainage or any fluid or other refuse matter from any sink, sink drain, sewer or cesspool situated on land which he owns or occupies to flow or run into or over any street.
B. 
No person shall allow water from any eaves spout, eaves trough leader pipe, spout, trench, ditch or other natural or artificial channel which he owns or which is under his control to discharge onto or upon any street if the same shall tend to injure such street or make travel therein less secure or easy.

§ 155-10 Snow and ice removal; penalty.

A. 
The tenant or occupant and, in case there is no tenant or occupant, the owner or persons having the care of any estate abutting upon any street, lane, court or square within the town where there is a sidewalk which now is established or set apart as such shall remove, within 24 hours after the ceasing to fall, any snow thereon.
B. 
When any snow shall be collected or deposited upon any sidewalk mentioned in the preceding subsection, either by falling from some adjacent building or by drifting upon such sidewalk, the tenant or occupant or the owner or persons having the charge of the estate abutting upon such sidewalk shall within 24 hours after its being collected or deposited cause the same to be removed.
C. 
Whenever any sidewalk mentioned in Subsection A shall be encumbered with ice, it shall be the duty of the tenant or occupant and, in case there is no tenant or occupant, the owner or persons having the charge of the estate abutting upon such sidewalk to cause such sidewalk to be made safe and convenient for transit by removing the ice therefrom or by covering the same with sand or some other suitable substitute within 24 hours after such sidewalk shall become so encumbered.
D. 
No persons plowing, pushing or shoveling snow or ice from private parking lots, driveways or sidewalks in or upon any street or public way shall leave any ridge of ice or snow or other debris upon such public way as to cause hazardous or dangerous conditions.
E. 
Any person violating any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25. Each twenty-four-hour period that said violation is permitted to continue after receipt of the initial written notice shall constitute a separate violation and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 per twenty-four-hour period. No additional written notice need be given for continuing violations. The Agawam Police Department, the Agawam Department of Public Works and the Agawam Department of Inspection Services shall be empowered to enforce the provisions of this section, and they may utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure provided in MGL c. 40, § 21D, as amended from time to time.
[Amended 2-3-1997 by TOR-96-9]

§ 155-11 Plowing of sidewalks by Department of Public Works.

The Department of Public Works shall have the authority to plow snow from sidewalks where children are required to walk to school on main arteries, including both paved and dirt sidewalks.

§ 155-12 Ball playing.

No person shall throw a ball, stone or other missile in, upon or across any street, except that the Town Council may set apart various parts of the streets in which persons may play ball under such conditions and restrictions as it may determine.

§ 155-13 Discharge of firearms across streets prohibited.

No person shall discharge any missile from any air gun or air rifle, slingshot or other like instrument within, upon, over or across any street.

§ 155-14 Animals crossing sidewalks.

No person shall lead, ride or drive any horse, mule, cow or meat cattle upon or over any sidewalk except to cross the same.

§ 155-15 Damaging sidewalks and tree belt prohibited; penalty.

[Amended 5-4-1992 by TOR-92-9; 3-6-1996 by TOR-95-10]
A. 
No person shall damage any sidewalk owned by the town. Damage to any sidewalk includes dislodging a portion of the pavement, and/or cracking and suppressing a portion of the pavement. Any person violating the provision of this section shall be punished for each offense with a fine commensurate with a total replacement cost of the damaged section of the sidewalk.
B. 
Sidewalks and tree belts.
(1) 
This subsection shall not apply to property which is zoned agricultural and which is actively being utilized for agricultural and/or horticultural use.
(2) 
The tenant or occupant of any real estate in the town which abuts on any public or private way in the town and, in case there is no tenant or occupant, the owner of such real estate, shall keep that portion of the public or private way commonly known as the "sidewalk" and the "tree belt" mowed and free and clear of all litter, debris, noxious weeds, brush, any other kind of rubbish and automobiles and shall maintain the same in a clean and sanitary manner and also have uninterrupted clear vision at all intersections.

§ 155-16 Violations and penalties.

Whoever violates any of the provisions of this Article shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100 and not less than $20.

§ 155-16.1 Alternative proceedings for violations.

[Added 6-6-2005 by TOR-2005-3]
A. 
Any violation of this chapter, Chapter 155, may, in the discretion the Inspector of Buildings, or his designee, or any police officer as directed by the Police Chief or his designee, be enforced by the noncriminal complaint method for which provision is made, and/or as set forth in MGL c. 40, § 21D, as amended from time to time, that is, noncriminal disposition. Fines issued pursuant to § 155-16.1 shall be as follows:
(1) 
First offense: $25.
(2) 
Second offense: $50.
(3) 
Third offense and each subsequent offense: $100.
B. 
Each day on which a violation exists shall constitute and be deemed a separate offense.