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Equipment replacement and roadwork increase DPW budgets

WILTON — While many line items in the preliminary budgets for public works departments will remain static this year, voters can expect to see some warrant articles and budget increases to replace large equipment and continue road reconstruction.

The overall Highway Department budget is up $3,200 over last year’s budget of $380,467, attributed to price increases for contracted services. However, Steve Elliot, the director of public works, would also like to see two other items brought up at Town Meeting this year.

The first is a warrant article for a new sidewalk plow, which will cost the town between $40,000 and $50,000. The other expected expense is to put additional funds in the Highway Department’s Capital Reserve fund, in preparation for replacing the department’s 10-wheel truck in 2014. Elliot recommended between $75,000 and $100,000 be raised for the purpose. The town’s current 10-wheel truck is a 1990 Mack truck.

The Highway Department would like to focus on resurfacing Goldsmith Road, Maple Street and Tremont Street in the next budget year, Elliot said. Completing the three roads would cost $305,000. Elliot is also requesting a further $72,500 to improve drainage, sewer covers and to work on sidewalks and curbs in town.

Another significant warrant article the town could see at Town Meeting would request funds to complete road work on the second half of Isaac Frye Highway. The total cost of the repairs would be about $120,000, according to Elliot, and he suggested requesting the town approve half of the funds to be raised by taxes, with the other half coming out of Capital Reserves.

Elliot said he would also like to purchase a used truck to be shared between the Parks and Recreation Department and cemeteries, for a cost of about $4,000, with the two departments each covering half of the cost. The current truck owned by the department, a 1998 pick-up, has been used by the town for the past eight years.

The increase for the new truck is the only increase to the proposed cemeteries budget, which is projected to be $45,043 in 2013. The Parks and Recreation budget increased a further $3,000 to accommodate maintenance for the well on Carnival Hill, bringing the total proposed budget for next year to $16,650.

Elliot also suggested a warrant article for between $15,000 to $20,000 to build a shed for the Recycling Center, but the Select Board advised that the funds for the shed could be put into the regular budget, as the majority of the recycling budget had remained flat this year.

The Select Board agreed to send the proposed budgets for the Department of Public Works to the Budget Committee for further consideration.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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