Policy sets process for emergency purchases

NAUGATUCK — The borough has a new policy that is designed to streamline and define the process to make emergency purchases.

Under the policy, which the Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved at its Oct. 3 meeting, department heads are allowed to spend up to $50,000 for an emergency purchase without authorization from the mayor or controller and without going out for bids.

According to the policy, the purchase must have a “purchase requisition” processed the next day with a description of what qualified the purchase to be categorized as an emergency.

The policy, which was put forth by Controller Allison Bruce, is meant to give departments a structure to follow during an emergency that takes place after regular business hours, including for maintenance of a vehicle or equipment, or if public works runs out of salt or sand during a snow storm. Previously, there was no uniform policy in place to guide department heads in similar situations.

“When you are in an emergency situation, they really have to decide in that moment what is the best way to deal with it,” Bruce said.

Bruce said the procedure for non-emergency purchases is to obtain a purchase order prior to making the purchase.

Assistant to the Director of Public Works Sandra Lucas-Ribeiro said the policy will work well.

“We believe that works perfectly for our department, especially because there are things that happen, equipment that goes down, or 3 feet of snow drops,” Lucas-Ribeiro said.

Public Works Director Jim Stewart echoed Lucas-Ribeiro’s comment but added that it would be rare for the department to use the policy because it can usually make it to the next day if a piece of equipment breaks.

“I don’t see this happening too often,” Stewart said.