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Building Permits applications are available online through ViewPermit.
A fence 6’ and under does not require a permit. A fence over 6’ and up to 8’ requires a building permit. Fences over 8’ require a Special Permit with approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
A shed is considered a one story accessory building. A shed 64 square feet or less does not require a building permit but needs to maintain zoning bylaw setbacks. A shed greater than 64 square feet requires a building permit.
A plot plan/site plan is required in conformance with 780 CMR 9th Edition, Section 107.2.5, and is required with every new permit application.
In accordance with Dig Safe’s color coding system all marking of sewer and drain shall be done in the color green unless otherwise specified. In the rare occurrence where no record information is on file, the dig safe mark out shall read “Location Unknown”.
Please note that the City of Fitchburg is not a part of Dig Safe System, Inc. and should be notified separately. Water lines are marked out by the City of Fitchburg’s Water Division’s Engineers and they can be reached by phone at 978-345-9616. Contact Dig Safe before you dig, it’s the law. DigSafe Website
Please visit the following link for more information regarding residential kitchen permit applications.
Please see the following link for information regarding mobile food trucks.
Please contact the Fitchburg Food Inspector, Sean-Michael Tantinarawat, at STantinarawat@fitchburgma.gov or at 978-829-1873 for an overview of the process.
Please visit the following link for information regarding sewage backups.
Please visit the following link for more information regarding flooding.
Please visit the following link for information regarding Persons in Charge (PICs).
The best starting point to operating a "mobile food operation" such as a food truck, push cart, or ice cream truck within the City of Fitchburg is to contact the Fitchburg Health Department Food Inspector. Health Department, Fire Department, and Zoning requirements must be met in order to operate a mobile food operation within the City of Fitchburg and these requirements can be discussed by contacting the Fitchburg Food Inspector.
If you have a complaint about a Fitchburg based food business, you can call us at 978-829-1873 or contact by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org You can also submit your complaint via SeeClickFix.
If you as an individual, business or organization is going to serve food to the general public, for a fee or at no cost, a food permit is required. The Massachusetts State Sanitary Food Code 105 CMR 590.001 defines "TEMPORARY FOOD ESTABLISHMENT" as a FOOD ESTABLISHMENT that operates for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration.If you, as an individual, business or organization is going to be serving food to the general public on a more frequent basis, an annual food permit may be a better option.
There are several regulatory requirements to obtain a temporary food permit and therefor it is strongly encouraged that you, the business, or organization contact the Fitchburg Food Inspector at least 30 days prior to the date of operation to discuss the temporary food permit application process.
To obtain the Temporary Food Permit Application, please click here.
Simply call the office at 978-829-1870 , option 0, and request an inspection. You will be put in contact with the inspector that covers your area. Inspections will be conducted within 7 days of request. You can also go to the Housing page under Health Department to fill out a form request.
The Landfill is open to residents on Monday 8:00 am-3:00 pm (yard waste only), Wednesday 7:30 am-3:00 pm, Friday 7:30 am-12:00 pm and Saturday 7:30-1:00 pm.
Public access computers are available for use with a library card for one hour at no charge. Printing is $.10 per page in black & white, and $1 per page for color.
The Stone House is available for rental during park hours year round. To rent the stone house you need to submit a rental application and a $25 deposit.
All events in a City of Fitchburg Park, Playground, and/or Field require a park permit. Permits Applications are available on the Parks Division Webpage or in the Recreation Department Office at Landry Arena, 1000 John Fitch Hwy, Fitchburg. Applications are not permits. Please have a permit in hand before advertising your event. Events expecting more that 50 guests should plan on filling out a City of Fitchburg Public Assembly form through the Fitchburg Fire Department.
Please call the DPW 24-hour hotline at 978-829-1900. The phone is answered by dispatch on Mon-Fri from 7:00 - 3:00 PM. All other hours it's answered by a service center which will contact a DPW employee to come assist you. If you are calling in off hours please allow the phone to ring, it will be answered 100% of the time.
The J. Robert Crowley Swimming Complex is a seasonal complex which typically opens the week Fitchburg Public Schools go on summer vacation. The pool typically closes a week prior to the return to school. For the pools projected schedule visit Pools and Splash Parks.
Requests to repair potholes can be submitted online via SeeClickFix or over the phone at 978-829-1900.
Claims should be filed with the Mayor's Office. You can download the form online or contact the Mayor's Office at 978-829-1801.
Snow Emergency Parking Ban's are announced in the Alert Center of the city website. During a Snow Emergency you will also find the alert in a bar across the top of the home page. For information about parking bans, municipal snow closures and city ordinances related to snow please visit www.fitchburgma.gov/snow.
If the main trunk of a tree is entirely on your property, it is your tree whether you planted it, a previous owner planted it, or nature put it there. If the main trunk is split along the property line the tree belongs to both properties and cannot be removed with both owners consent. If you are not certain about the boundary between your property and the City's property you can contact the Engineering Division for clarification.
The City cannot prune trees that are not planted on public property. Additionally, the City does not trim tree branches due to encroachment on electrical wires; to report a needed pruning due to a branch's proximity to wires, contact Unitil at 888-301-7700. If the tree is on public property you can report the tree online through SeeClickFix or contact the DPW at 978-829-1900.
The City's trash and recycling program through Waste Management is overseen by the Fitchburg Health Department. To report a missed pickup you can submit an online report or contact the Health Department at 978-829-1870. Visit the Health Department webpage for for more information about trash and recycling schedules, proper recycling, bulk item pickups and more.
An abatement is a lessening or reduction in the billable amount for the sewer use billing period, for specific policy approved causes, where sewer billing cannot be fairly derived from the customer’s water meter reading.
The “billing unit” is one hundred cubic feet (“CCF” as a short-hand unit of measure term), or approximately 750 gallons. Two billing units would be equal to 2 CCF, or 200 cubic feet, or approximately 1,500 gallons.
The Water and Wastewater Commission for the City of Fitchburg are authorized to set the sewer rates for the Fitchburg Wastewater Division. Rate revenues must cover the day-to-day expenses incurred to operate the water and sewer systems, as well as support ongoing Wastewater Division maintenance and improvements that comply with federal and state agencies aimed at protecting health and the environment.
Rate changes typically occur for the June 1st billing period. Click here for the current sewer rates.
If you notice an apparent billing increase out side of the regularly scheduled rate increases, it is because your property’s water meter is reading more flow passing through the meter than before. If you are not increasing your water use (lawn or garden watering, water use for home maintenance, automobile washing, etc.), this would suggest that there are plumbing leaks on the property side of the water meter, and these leaks are “read” as water usage by the customer. Increased water use consumption by customers, due to plumbing leaks, lawn, house, property or automotive maintenance, are not abatable conditions, and customers will be billed for sewer use on these meter readings. (Refer to the DPW Wastewater Division’s Sewer Billing Abatement Policy for details.)
The industry average for residential water/sewer use is 120 CCF per year. The annual usage the City uses for statistical average is 100 CCF per year. Dividing this figure by 12 monthly billing periods, gives an average monthly usage of 8.333 CCF/month. The Wasterwater Division bills at the current monthly sewer rate, which results in the monthly billing rate which is assigned to sewer-only accounts.
Sewer-only customers have the option of installing a radio-read water meter on their water supply well (at the customer’s expense). If a sewer only customer installs a meter, the sewer billing for the account would be based on the meter reading, and would follow the sewer billing process. This would be advantageous to a sewer-only customer who believes that they use less than 8.333 CCF per month. Sewer-only customers seeking to pursue a meter installation, should contact the Fitchburg Water Department (Tel. No.: 978-345-9616) for information on the meter, and costing.
Yes. There is a minimum charge. Sewer customers are billed a flat rate per month for sewer usage from 0 to 3 CCF. Sewer customers that use in excess of 3 CCF are billed for the full amount used that month at the current billing rate.
Residential & commercial plumbing systems have water traps built into the systems to prevent sewer gases from migrating into the buildings. Occasionally, on plumbing fixtures that aren’t often used, the water in the water trap can dry out and evaporate. Customers should run a gallon or two of water into the drains of fixtures to ensure that water traps have water. If the customers plumbing fixtures do not have water traps, or the water traps don’t seem to be working, the customer should contact a licensed plumber to inspect and repair the problem.
The City owns the sewer mains and sewer manholes in the streets, or in cross-country running sewer easements. The sewer customer owns, and is responsible for operating, maintaining, repairing and replacing the sewer service pipe that connects the customer’s home or building to the City-owned sewer, up to and including the connection to the City-owned sewer.
The City has implemented a one-call point-of-contact for the public or sewer customers to alert the City of an apparent sewer problem. The public or sewer customers are instructed to contact the Fitchburg DPW Dispatch, at (T) 978-829-1900.
Weekdays (non-holidays) the Fitchburg DPW Dispatch Desk is staffed from 7:00 AM thru 3:00 PM.
After hours on weekdays (non-holidays), on weekends, and on holidays, calls to the (T) 978-829-1900 number will be answered by an answering service, and the call message will be forwarded to the appropriate on-call City staff member. For sewer related calls, messages will be forwarded to the on-call DPW Wastewater Division on-call Collection System personnel.
City DPW Wastewater Division Collection System personnel responding to the site will investigate the City-owned sewers to determine if the source of the problem is in the City-owned sewers, or if the source of the problem appears to be in the sewer customer owned sewer service piping. Responding personnel will contact the caller to relay the findings, and any actions taken. If the source of the problem appears to be in the sewer customer owned sewer service piping, the caller (or customer) will be informed that the issue is in the private, customer owned piping, and that the caller (or customer) will need to contact a plumber to address the issue in the private, customer owned piping.
Beginning in January, 2012 residential water bills are now billed monthly. Payment for water bills are accepted through the Treasurer's Office. The Treasurer's office is now accepting online payments.
The current water rate is $4.20 per 100 cubic feet/748 gallons. The rate for the minimum is based on the meter size is as follows:
The bills include both water and sewer charges. Some accounts only have water and will only be billed for water usage. The sewer charges on your water/sewer bill are based on your water usage. No bills are estimated. Every meter in the city is read either by the radio read technology or by a meter reader.
The sewer charges are read through your water usage and the billing is included in your water bill. To apply for a sewer abatement you must contact the Wastewater Division. A written request for an abatement is required and must include a detailed description of the incident or occurrence requiring abatement.
Discolored water conditions may be caused be the use of fire hydrants, breakage in pipes, opening and closing of gate valves, deficiencies in pressure, volume, supply of water, or any other situation that may result in a discoloration of the water.
If the discolored water is caused by a leak, a leak at any point past the property line at the public right of way is the responsibility of the homeowner. The Water Division will come out to the property to shut off the water for necessary repairs. Applicable fees (PDF) will apply to the service call.
When you fill your swimming pool you must pay for the water used to fill the pool. You should then contact the Wastewater Department to inquire about abatement for the sewer charges associated with filling your pool.
Visit our page on filling a swimming pool to see a formula to calculate what your it may cost to fill your pool with water.
When you sell your property a final water meter reading MUST be taken by the City of Fitchburg Water Office. We will need at least a 48 hour notice to accommodate all closing requests and to prepare the final figures. Visit Property Transfers to see any required forms and to see the formula used to calculate your final bill.
Massachusetts General Laws require a public procurement process for supplies and services, and construction projects, estimated to cost $10,000 or more. For purchases less than $10,000, the City follows sound business practices.
Electronic versions of all quotes, IFBs and RFPs are available to be viewed and downloaded on the Purchasing Department webpage. You can sign up to receive notifications using our “notify me” option in the categories you are interested in.In compliance with Massachusetts General Law, the City also advertises IFBs and RFPs in a local newspaper (Sentinel & Enterprise), the Goods & Services Bulletin or Central Register where applicable, on the COMMBUYS page, and on our City website.
To reduce our use of paper, and for the convenience of vendors and contractors, documents can now be obtained online only. Documents are found on the Purchasing tab under "Current Solicitations." Interested parties must fill out a short registration form in order to view online documents. Critical dates, such as pre-bid meetings, site visits, and due dates, are posted with the solicitation documents.While registering for documents, please take care to use a correct email address. If any changes are made to the documents or dates, email will be used to notify all plan holders of such changes.
Plan holder lists may be viewed within the solicitation posting on the website. Registration is not required to view the list.
Please do not call the office to request results. Results will be posted on the Purchasing Department tab, under "Current Solicitations" within 48 hours of due date and time, and will include vendor/contractor names and pricing. Awards will be posted within 30 days of the due date. Registration is not required to view this information.
Once an award has been made (within 30 days of due date and time) the name of the awarded vendor/contractor will be posted on the Purchasing Department tab, under "Current Solicitations."