By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Fire, Police and Public Works Departments reported on their preliminary budgets and proposed Town Meeting budget articles to the Board of Selectmen at the board’s Jan. 26 meeting.
Fire Chief Patrick Purcell said his department tried to keep increases to the requested 2 percent over last year’s budget; the budget presented was 2.86 percent over. The main line-item increase is for $13,500 for an additional supervisor to handle the increased volume of fire inspections.
“This will reduce cancelling and rescheduling appointment and reduce overtime costs,” Purcell said, adding that the department will recoup some expenses through increased inspection services.
At Town Meeting, Purcell said they would be seeking $250,000 for the replacement of a 2008 ambulance and $50,000 for a new SUV to replace a 2005 Ford Explorer.
In the Police Department, Chief Alan Gordon said there is “little change” in the budget from last year; they are awaiting negotiations with two unions before they can move forward with complete budget estimates.
Earlier in the meeting, Gordon recommended Elizabeth Dumas be appointed to the Westborough Police force. She will be the fourth female officer in Westborough. Dumas, a resident of Westborough, is a 2009 graduate of the Worcester Police Academy and was previously employed by the MBTA Police.
Gordon said her appointment will reduce the budget slightly since she is being hired at a lower level than the retiring officer she is replacing.
At Town Meeting, Gordon said the department will be asking for $187,664 to replace two cruisers with SUVs and purchase a Jeep that was formerly under lease for a reduced price.
Department of Public Works Director John Walden said he is hoping to hire two new employees to help keep up with cleaning the town’s catch basins, totaling $115,000. The department currently lacks the manpower to keep up with the cleaning, which is required twice a year for each catch basin. The new employees would also help respond to citizen complaints more efficiently.
With regard to capital improvements, Walden said the department will be asking for $50,000 for a grinder for preventative sewer maintenance; $60,000 to replace a utility truck with a four-wheel-drive plow truck; and a Caterpillar loader for $175,000.
The ATM will be held March 12, starting at 1 p.m. at the Westborough High School, 90 East Main St.