Public works budget request seeks to bring back a position


NAUGATUCK — Public Works Director James Stewart is looking to bolster his staff by filling a position that was cut several years ago.

Stewart presented a budget request of $5.38 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year to the Board of Finance last week. The request is an increase of $217,161, or 4.2 percent, over this fiscal year’s public works budget.

One of the largest increases in the proposal is for regular payroll for street maintenance employees. The increase of $64,021, or 7.56 percent, to $910,700 includes the replacement of a full-time position, Stewart said. The position would replace one that was eliminated several years ago, he said.

Stewart said the department has lost 25 percent of its staff over the past 30 years while the borough has seen a nearly 25-percent growth in the miles of roads.

“The position will help with the multiple drainage and infrastructure repairs we have throughout town,” Stewart said. “We are doing everything we can with purchases of new equipment to increase efficiency. But we can’t do enough with the level of staffing we currently have.”

The department is also bracing for an increase of $88,980, or 13.68 percent, in tipping fees for trash and recycling collection.

Stewart said the increase is due primarily to a contractual increase and a 5-percent increase in the amount of garbage collected.