Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. announced today that, as part of the Town's $2.59 million dollar 2017-2018 capital program, the East Haven Public Works Department recently placed a new, 2017 Freightliner snow plow into service to complement and expand the Town's existing fleet.
Maturo explained, "As part of this year's capital program, we allocated approximately $130,000.00 dollars to purchase a large 'used' truck with a 'new body.' However, thanks to some careful shopping, we were actually able to purchase a brand new, 36,000 pound 2017 Freightliner plow for the same amount. The new plow, which has already been outfitted and is ready to hit the road, will be particularly useful in the hilly Foxon area of Town during large snow events."
According to Town records, the '16-'17 and '17-'18 infrastructure/capital programs allocated $737,000.00 for nineteen (19) projects and pieces of equipment at the Public Works Department including $130,000.00 for the large plow, $32,000.00 for upgrades to the Town's tree truck, $25,000.00 for a new sand machine, $14,000.00 for new lawn mowers, and $45,000.00 for new plow blades and repairs to the Town's sweeper and vactor.
Maturo continued, "Although the State's budget crisis continues to translate into serious fiscal challenges locally, we're keeping our promise to the taxpayers and continuing to re-invest in the Town's infrastructure. Over the past two years alone, we've allocated $4.65 million dollars for over 130 small to medium projects in addition to large scale projects like 'Downtown Revitalization' and the raising of Coe Avenue, which is set to begin sometime this year."
The Town's addition of a new plow marks just one of several measures the Town has taken this winter to ensure that snow events are handled promptly and aggressively.
Maturo added, "Over the past few winter storms, we've employed private, third-party plows to supplement our public works crews. Even more importantly, we've brought on a third mechanic to work on a casual employment basis during snow events to ensure that, in the event we do experience equipment failures during storms, we can get trucks up and running and back out on the roads. Overall, our commitment to spending a little bit of extra money has translated into a better response to snow events and safer streets."
According to Maturo, he's most pleased that the Town has managed to upgrade its equipment and expand its winter response without any effect on the taxes.
Maturo noted, "Thanks to the historic "A+" bond rating we've earned and to our careful spending practices, we have been able to pursue these aggressive infrastructure programs, including the upgrading of equipment at the Public Works Department, without affecting taxpayers' bottom lines."
Maturo concluded, "As we begin constructing our 2018-2019 budget, our goal is to continue expanding and upgrading the already top-notch services we provide while keeping taxes as low and stable as possible. As we put that budget together, we will be grappling with the de facto 'tax hikes' that cuts to local aid translate into. However, despite those challenges, we intend to craft and present a responsible budget that continues to address the Town's infrastructure needs while being mindful of the taxpayers' bottom lines."
For more information, please contact Joe Coppola at 203-468-3204.