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Honey, I shrunk the municipal garage

Posted by Ralph Ranalli December 13, 2007 11:51 AM

WESTON

The Department of Public Works and the Permanent Building Committee will be reducing the scope of the planned DPW facility by 15 percent, in accordance with a goal set by the Board of Selectmen.

Town officials had asked for a $995,000 appropriation for engineering and architectural costs in an article that was defeated at last month's Special Town Meeting. DPW Director of Operations Robert Hoffman said following the selectmen's guidelines would mean reducing the original $18million price tag for a new facility to somewhere around $15 million.

"It seemed like the overwhelming conversation at the town meeting was that we didn't need a garage to house all the vehicles that the town has, so that will probably be the first place we'll think of cutting," Hoffman said.

He said that the town has to try and provide shelter for its more expensive and important vehicles, like the sanders, front end loaders and street sweepers, but other vehicles, like small pickup trucks, might be parked outside. But keeping vehicles outside increases wear and tear and can reduce efficiency in cold weather, as workers have to wait for their engines to warm up before they can get going, Hoffman said.

Hoffman also said that long-time DPW workers were disappointed that, upon completion of the facility, they would still be starting up some of their public works vehicles in the cold.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

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