Betsy’s Corner: May Day – May Day

Why does everyone get so busy in May? Why does every spring weekend get so filled up with conflicting activities? This past weekend we attended a very special college graduation for our youngest child and only son! It was such a joyful event full of hugs, congratulations, speeches, champagne and culminating with mortarboards being flung in the air!

The last few years have flown by and it is hard to believe that the kids we arrived with 22 years age are now both college graduates! It was a great weekend, but we also missed the annual Long Meddowe Days Celebration and a huge birthday bash for a great friend in Florida! Why does everything happen at once? Although we were not on the invitation list, we also missed watching the Royal Wedding, which was a historic event taking place at 5 a.m. on Saturday. By the time we turned on the “tele,” the newly-married couple were waving to the British spectators of Windsor and the ceremony was over. I think it might be useful to clone myself so I could be several places at once during this time of year.

When we arrived home to Longmeadow I was disappointed to see the white tents on the green coming down, since we missed the celebration in town. As we drove up Laurel Street, I was also disappointed to see the trucks and vehicles in Bliss Park and on the side of the streets announcing that the gas lines were still being repaired and replaced. I know this community turned into a suburban neighborhood about 100 years ago, and the gas lines are at least a century old.

Common sense tells me that as things get older they can fall apart. What about the water lines? What about the electricity and cable television wires? I understand that things need to be fixed and replaced but it seems that the trucks and equipment are all over the town. Spring is a time of celebration but it is also a time of repair. The weather may be rainy but the work cannot be done in the winter months.

The work needs to be done by the gas company (Columbia Gas) but is far from finished. There are many more gas lines to be replaced with special plastic conduits that will last far longer than a century. The old gas pipes are being emptied and shut down deep in the ground.

Gas leaks are dangerous, so it is important to get the work done in a timely manner. The executives from the gas company are making a presentation to the select board this week and I am curious to find out what their plans are. Will our streets, roads and avenues continue to be cut into pieces to get the job done? How long will this construction take and isn’t this all long overdue? Deferred maintenance is never a good idea. Keep your eyes and ears open for articles and explanations on what our local gas company is doing.

In the meantime, be aware of street closures and detours around our community. It is messy work and probably very costly. I can’t wait for all the construction to be over and done with. It is a beautiful time of year but having trucks and dirt all over the place is certainly an issue.

Do we really need to have equipment living inside Bliss Park for weeks on end? May Day May Day – or should I say Mayday? The international distress signal is warning us to find out more about the natural gas situation under our streets. Stay tuned!

– By Betsy Huber Port