MARLBOROUGH – The city clerk’s office is closer to getting new voting booths and polling equipment, and the fire department can soon replace its bedding.
These were among the nearly $1.6 million in capital improvements requests approved by the City Council’s Finance Committee on June 12.
City Clerk Steve Kerrigan told the committee the request of $152,000 would go toward new voting booths and polling machines.
The current booths were built by Assabet Valley students some years ago.
“They are big, bulky and cumbersome to move,” said Kerrigan.
The new booths are easier to move, and there will be more of them per voting precinct.
The current polling machines have been in place since 2007. Kerrigan said they still work, but it’s getting harder to find replacement parts.
“We got our mileage out of them,” said City Councilor David Doucette.
Now that the request has been approved, Kerrigan said he will bring in the two companies that specialize in polling machines to conduct demonstrations of the new equipment.
The other capital improvement requests approved include:
Police: $325,076 for three marked cruisers; 31 bulletproof vests; and 60 new tasers, including cartridges and battery packs. According to documents provided by the police, four vehicles – all Ford Interceptor Utility models – are considered in poor condition. The replacement vehicle will be a 2023 Ford Police Interceptor Utility AWD Hybrid. With special equipment, each vehicle will cost about $64,000.
The bulletproof vests need replacement because they have reached the end of their five-year warranty. Each vest is estimated to cost $1,065. The police will replace its current tasers with a newer model; the tasers will be replaced over the next five years.
Fire: $25,000 to replace all bedding including the frames in all three stations.
Department of Public Works: $701,000 to replace equipment, including a six-wheel dump/sander/plow that is currently out of service, a F450 dump truck with plow in poor condition, a F350 SRW service/utility vehicle with plow in poor condition, a F550 dump truck/plow/sander in poor condition and a F350 DRW service/utility with plow, and upgrade wash bay equipment.
Information Technology: $380,000 for firewall replacement and national security upgrade.
Veterans: $15,000 to replace square veterans’ signs; the new signs will include a photo of the veteran.
Operating budget approved
The City Council approved the operating budget for fiscal 2024 during a special meeting on June 12.
The council reduced the mayor’s requested budget by about $940,000; there were also several tweaks made, including reductions to the spending limits for parks and recreation, public services and the Council on Aging.
The council also approved several transfer requests from the mayor, including $9,102 to fund the substance abuse coordinator position for the remainder of the year; and $94,037 to cover a shortfall in the 1% nonpensionable stipend paid to all city employees.