Milford public works department reorganized

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Budget cuts at June’s annual town meeting have resulted in Milford’s public works department being reorganized. At that meeting, voters cut infrastructure for public works down to $50,000. That left town officials with a big problem – there were mandatory public works projects…Budget cuts at June’s annual town meeting have resulted in Milford’s public works department being reorganized.
At that meeting, voters cut infrastructure for public works down to $50,000. That left town officials with a big problem – there were mandatory public works projects that needed to be done to ensure public safety.
“For one, we have emergency repairs on the County Road that could exceed $50,000 all by itself,” said Town Manager Chris Reardon.”There also are liability issues in front of the school with sidewalks.
That led to discussions between Reardon and selectmen on how to pay for projects when there wasn’t enough money to go around. The decision was made to reorganize the public works department.
“To do so has required some layoffs – two full-time public works employees. It also means we’ll have to shift some work from in-house to contractual,” said Reardon, who added that the laid-off workers potentially could be hired for some of that work, such as plowing in the winter.
“We’re honoring the will of the electorate with the budget,” said Reardon. “What we’ve been left with was less than originally requested, and it leaves us unable to be proactive – we’re in a reactive mode where we’ll only be able to repair what’s needed.”
Potentially, the shortage of funds could mean a special town meeting to request additional funding for roadwork, but Reardon said he does not see that as like at this point.
“It’s hard to foresee what we’ll need in the next 11 months, but as things now stand, it’s not anticipated we’ll need a meeting to ask for additional funds,” said Reardon.