DPW preliminary budget discussed with Select Board

SOUTHWICK – The Select Board held a preliminary discussion with DPW Director Randy Brown on Tuesday night at the Southwick Town Hall for his proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

Going through the different sections of his budget, Brown pointed out that taking care of the town’s roads is of high importance in his proposed budget.

“I’d certainly like to see some road projects moving forward,” said Brown. “Our roads are falling apart, time has come where we need to start investing in our roads.”

For FY20, paving and reconstruction of roads in the budget would amount to over $2 million. The projects Brown is proposing includes paving on Granville Road, Nicholson Hill Road, Robin Road, and South Loomis Street.

DPW Director Randy Brown is seen discussing his proposed FY20 budget with the Select Board on Tuesday night. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

Besides the paving, there’s also some drainage work and culvert replacement that Brown believes needs to be done. In the neighborhood of Cedar Street and Bonnieview Road, the budget proposes a drainage replacement that’s estimated to cost $140,000. Brown notes that sinkholes are forming in that neighborhood, especially after heavy rain.

“There’s some deteriorating drainage in that neighborhood,” said Brown.

A culvert also needs to be replaced on Fred Jackson Road and that project had already been designed six or seven years ago. The culvert replacement is estimated to cost $425,000.

Looking at machinery, Brown is planning on requesting to have a mini excavator in the budget.

“These are really handy tools,” said Brown.

The mini excavator would work great with smaller projects.

“There’s a lot more projects we can do in-house,” said Brown. “We just can’t without the right equipment.”

Also in the machinery category is a line item for a tractor with a mower attachment. For the FY 19 budget, the request for that piece of equipment had a cost $130,000, but now that cost has increased to nearly $144,000.

In the solid waste portion of the budget, Brown is seeking the addition of a storage shed to be built at the town’s transfer station. Expecting that it would be 26 ft. by 40 ft., the shed would store some of the department’s frequently used equipment.

A main reason to add a storage shed is the lack of space that there is at the DPW garage.

“We’re losing space up at the garage,” said Brown. “We’re at the point where we have to decide which piece of equipment we have to keep outside.”

The cost of the storage shed could be around $23,000.

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