Glenville is getting two new dump trucks and the Public Works Department is revamping its vacation time policy to provide adequate staffing all year round.
The Town Board recently voted to purchase one truck for the Water Department and one truck for the Highway Department. These vehicles replace two trucks that had broken down and were out of service.
Supervisor Chris Koetzle said the town is tapping some money it received from FEMA as reimbursement for cleanup costs associated with tropical storms Irene and Lee. “We promised we would reinvest that in capital improvements or equipment,” he said.
The town will bond $60,000 of the highway truck’s $183,000 cost and pay the rest of the cost with the FEMA funds. The $134,000 water truck will be funded by water and sewer funds.
Glenville’s truck fleet had already lost one vehicle because of mechanical problems, according to Koetzle. The failure of these two other trucks compounded the problem.
“There was no way we could get through a plowing season without them,” he said.
Public Works Commissioner Tom Coppola said both trucks had cracked frames and cannot pass inspection. One of the trucks was 20 years old, and he said it would be ridiculous to try to put money into trying to repair that.
Coppola has not ordered the new trucks yet. Once they arrive, the town’s fleet will be back to full strength with 11 trucks — six that are less than a decade old. However, it will not have a spare vehicle. That could become an issue during snowplowing season if another truck were to break down.
“It puts the rest of the route 11⁄2 to two hours behind,” he said.
Koetzle said the town was fortunate with last year’s mild winter. He believes the town should not have waited this long to invest in its equipment.
In another move that town officials say will help the Public Works Department, the board approved a memorandum of agreement with the Glenville Highway Department Employees Association to change how vacations are scheduled.
Under the old contract, no more than one employee could take vacation at a time during the wintertime season, which was defined as Nov. 15 to April 1.
As a result, Coppola said, employees — especially senior ones who have the first pick from the schedule — would schedule a lot of their time in the summer.
Under the revised policy, as many as two employees can take winter vacation at once. Some of the long-term employees are into snowmobiling and other cold-weather activities and would like to schedule vacation time in the winter, according to Coppola, and so will take fewer summer days. This will allow more people to be working during the summer.
Koetzle said it became difficult to provide adequate staff for summer tasks such as paving, fixing catch basins and trimming trees.
“There’s no monetary impact. It’s essentially allowing for vacations to be taken throughout the entire year,” Koetzle said.
Coppola said the department will try the new policy for one year and re-evaluate it for 2014.