Public Works Department Present Budget Proposal

By Alex Malm

Director of Engineering, John Trottier, along with Public Works Director, Dave Wholley, presented the different public works budgets to the Town Council and Budget Committee on Nov. 12.
For Waste Collection Services the proposal was for a total of $1,816,402, which is an increase of $206,109 compared to this year, which was $1,610,293.
Trottier said one of the biggest reasons for that difference is because of a six percent increase for their contract with Waste Management. They are also seeing an approximately $47,000 increase for solid waste tonnage, and an increase for estimated fuel adjustment of about $31,000 which accounts for fuel increases.
“We’re allocating an additional $2 increase in the cost of diesel fuel,” said Trottier.
For the sewer budget Trottier said that the proposed budget was $3,063,240, which is an increase of $213,328 compared to this year’s budget of $2,849,912.
Trottier said that the sewer budget is paid for by the users of the sanitary sewer. It means that there is no tax impact.
“This does not affect the tax rate,” said Trottier.
For the Highway Division the proposed budget for 2024 was a total of $4,717,746 which was an increase of about $451,000 compared to this year’s budget of $4,265,747.
One of the increases for the highway department’s proposed budget that Wholley pointed to is for highway salt. The proposal was to increase it from $240,000 to $280,000 which he said is mostly due to the price of salt continuing to go up.
He also noted that the amount of snow they have gotten in recent years is lower than normal. He said the last couple of years they have had 50 to 60 inches while they are normally in the 70 plus inches range.
“Snow accumulations over the past four years have been abnormally low,” said Wholley.
It was also pointed out by Wholley that long term they may want to look at building a new facility for the highway department. He said that currently they are working out of an old garage.
Wholley said that when it comes to the non contractual lines they are staying level funded for the vast majority of them.
“As you can see we’re holding the line on 10 out of the 12 items,” said Wholley.
Those increases include an increase of $230,000 for highway management services for a total of $290,000, and an increase along with an increase of $50,000 for mantrance supplies and vehicles.
Wholley said that they haven’t had an increase for that line for a number of years and that the increase will help them appropriately maintain the vehicles.
He said that it’s important to keep their vehicles in good shape.
He said that they have the talent to be able to do small repairs and things like oil changes in-house but don’t have the proper equipment.
“The facility needs a strong look at,” said Wholley.
Wholley said that they would be coming forward with a proposal in the near future.
He also pointed to a number of contractual increases for roadway management contracts including a 17% increase for paving, 22% increase for tree cutting, and a 20% increase for striping.

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