It’s always something...

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 7:30am

At a recent Planning Board meeting, a philosophical discussion took place that concerned how to address seemingly perpetual capital budget items that the town’s departments request year after year. An example of that are the town departments that need new vehicles on an annual basis: The Police Department, the Highways Department, and the Recreation Department, are requesting financing in fiscal year 2019 for vehicle needs.

“It never stops,” said Board member Dennis Heinz, who noted that the items should not be in the capital budget. “It should be in the regular operating budget.” Heinz said the board “talked about this issue years ago.”

The Police Department is seeking $13,000 per year to fund the leasing of two SUVs, the Highways Department is requesting $47,000 to fund a new truck with a plow, and the Recreation Department is asking for $30,000 to fund the purchase of “a new truck.”

Recreation Director Dave Sniffen said the current vehicle the department uses “is a hand-me-down from the Water Company.” Sniffen noted that the need for a new vehicle is due to paying for frequent repairs to the vehicle. “We can’t keep putting money into it.”

“What does it take to get out of the hole? And what does it take to stay out of the hole?” asked board member John Spier.

Other capital budget requests include: $30,000 from the Medical Center for exterior improvements to the main building, and $10,000 to address issues in the basement of the Davidson House; $8,000 from the Harbors Department for installation of four LED lamppost lights for the West Dock, and $15,000 for some new aid-to-navigation devices; and, the Information Technology Department is seeking $30,000 for annual equipment replacement, and $27,000 for clerk’s office record management needs.