By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
NAUGATUCK — The cost of disposing of trash and recyclables is going up and driving a requested 3% budget increase for the Department of Public Works.
Public Works Director James Stewart last week presented a $5.5 million budget proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year to the Board of Finance. The proposal is an increase of $162,905 over the department’s budget this fiscal year.
The fee to dispose of solid waste is going from $83 a ton to $91 a ton. Overall, the cost is increasing $84,580 to $823,800.
The borough’s contract with USA Hauling and Recycling to collect trash and recycling is increasing 2%, or $18,101, to $923,161.
“We did our best to only request the most necessary things. We’re not asking for additional employees,” Stewart said. “Everything is passed on to us directly. The garbage tipping fees, the region is seeing those increases.”
Salaries and overtime are going up $42,784 combined to a total of roughly $2.6 million, under the budget proposal.
The increase in salaries and overtime also covers a plan to open the recycling center an additional day, on Tuesdays, and for longer hours on Thursdays. The center is also open on Saturdays.
The budget proposal includes an additional $5,000 for tree removal. Stewart said the borough is trimming or taking down more trees due to the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that has been devastating Connecticut’s ash trees for several years.
The budget request also includes $4,300 more for golf cart maintenance at Hop Brook Golf Course, a $5,600 increase for extra swim lessons for the summer swimming program, and $1,163 more for two additional portable toilets for borough parks.
“I think their request is reasonable to support what they’re doing,” Board of Finance Chairman Dan Sheridan Jr. said. “At this time we have yet to discuss their capital items.”
The finance board is scheduled to review requests for capital items on Monday. Officials plan to hold the meeting through teleconferencing.