In an effort to keep budgets flat overall throughout the municipality’s departments, the township committee has tentatively approved some new equipment and a road project for the Department of Public Works in 2012.
The department, which requested two new split plows, will receive one this year and likely the second next year, according to committeeman and DPW liaison David Kennedy. Each plow costs roughly $8,500.
Also tentatively approved in the budget is a new dump body for a truck, Kennedy said. Other pieces of equipment requested and tentatively approved include new chainsaws and a lawnmower.
The committee is looking to keep a major road project in house this year, tentatively approving $55,000 for repair work on upper Fairview Avenue near Drakestown Road, Kennedy said.
“It’s a project we’d like to get done, and if we can handle it in house that would be best,” Kennedy said. “If we have to put it out to bid, it could end up costing us much more, and it’s something our guys can do.”
Kennedy said the township has also applied for grants to continue roadwork repairs on East and West Valley Brook roads.
The township is waiting to find out how much state aid it will receive, a figure that will play a major role in the $2,614,000 capital budget currently proposed.
“We won’t really know what we’re getting until the (state aid) numbers come out,” said DPW Superintendent Scott Frech.
The mild winter–the best Frech has seen in his 25 years, he said–has helped keep costs down and machinery from additional wear and tear.
“We’ve been able to save some money this winter,” Kennedy said. “That definitely helps when you’re trying to make these kinds of decisions. What was five, ten years ago–that’s not today. We’re bare bones right now and need to think of ways to be creative with the funds we have.”
The township committee’s next budget review session at the Senior Center will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27. The meeting is open to the public.