Selectmen approve emergency repairs and up special detail rates


December 09, 2009
The Board of Selectmen approved more than $47,500 for immediate Department of Public Works expenditures at its meeting last week, though some of that should be coming back to the town from the state at a later date.

Department of Public Works Operations Manager Dustin Muzzey told the board that he is looking to go forward with the construction, design, and repairs for the Glenn Bridge on.

The board previously approved state aid in the Bridge Aid process and was asked to approve a contract with the engineering service, Dubois and King Inc. of Nashua.

Muzzey explained that once the board approved this contract at $26,800, the NH DOT Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance would then review the proposal.

He said that about 20 percent of the DPW's bridge replacement capital reserve fund would go toward the repairs, and that the town will receive a reimbursement from the state in later years, although Muzzey described receiving money from the state to be a "lengthier process."

Selectman Kevin Hayes asked when construction would begin if the engineering services contract proposal were approved. Muzzey said that construction might start in early spring of 2010, although he couldn't tell the board when exactly they would receive their reimbursement, the board hoped for sooner rather than later.

Hayes suggested preparing for repairs on the red-listed bridge on Old Lakeshore as well, since he finds that many towns receive bridge aid right away, perhaps because they group bridges together when seeking the approval of the state.

The selectmen approved the DPW's request and granted them permission to continue on with their engineering service repairs at $26,800, an amount the board hopes to see back soon after the state's reply to the proposal in January.

Director of the DPW Morgan Sheldon also had a request for the board and asked that the department's truck, a 2001 JCB 426B loader, go under emergency repairs.

In the month of October, workers were using the machine to store salt for the upcoming winter. The loader shut off and blue smoke blew from its tailpipe, and the engine was left with internal damage.

"We have a problem with the loader. It is about half way through its life expectancy with us," said Sheldon. "We have two options. To rebuild the loader to the best of its ability without a warranty, or to rebuild the engine."

Sheldon said that the loader must last until 2011 before any replacements since there are no warranties or "guarantees" before then. He said that he stood by rebuilding the engine, and that the engine itself would last about 12 years, although the body of the truck is another story.

Hayes asked about the body of the truck and Sheldon explained that most of his loaders rust within a matter of years and are unusable at that point.

Sheldon said that a manufactured engine would come with a one-year warranty. The cost to install the remanufactured engine would be $20,802. Sheldon said the DPW currently has over $100,000 in their fuel account, and suggested to the board that the money come from this avaliable account, which the selectmen approved.

Selectmen have also considered approving an increase in police and fire special details rates for outside organizations since the town has been losing money on special details, about $5,000 this year to date.

The town currently charges $46 an hour for standard shifts and $56 during holiday shifts, which does not completely cover the cost of an officer. It has been recommended that the town increase their special detail rates to $50 per hour for standard shifts and $57 for holiday shifts to avoid any additional costs to the taxpayer.

Selectmen Chair Gus Benavides explained that this increase in rates would be discussed at the next meeting in the form of a public hearing before being finalized. All selectmen agreed that a public hearing will be scheduled in time to run these new rates in 2010, and that these increases in special detail rates are "necessary."

At the end of the meeting last, Hayes thanked the volunteers who have been scraping and painting at the town ice rink. He said he was impressed by their work and appreciative that their labor has been at no cost to the town.

The Board of Selectmen will hold their next meeting and public hearing on special detail rates Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. at the town hall.

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