Fairfield RTM Letter: GOP Supports Heavy-Duty Vehicle Replacement For DPW

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Send letters to fairfield@dailyvoice.com.

To The Editor: 

The Republican RTM caucus unanimously approved a significant replenishment to the Department of Public Works heavy-duty vehicle fleet through a long-term capital bond resolution totaling nearly $2.1 million at its Feb. 24 for a new ladder fire truck. Roughly, $1.33 million of this bond resolution was for the DPW vehicles and $775,000 was for the new fire truck. With this approval, DPW will significantly upgrade its aging and overworked fleet of heavy-duty trucks.

Given the extreme weather Fairfield has experienced over recent years, coupled with attractive interest
rate levels, which many believe are only going to rise over the coming months, now is the right time to
make this type of investment. The fleet upgrade includes two six-wheel dump trucks, one 10-wheel dump
truck, one asphalt truck, a back hoe, a tree bucket truck, and a refuse/recycling truck. The estimated overall
replacement value of the DPW’s 52 heavy-duty vehicle fleet is $10 million.

Commenting on the fleet modernization program, Majority Leader Ed Bateson, said, “This $1.33 million acquisition of capital assets will serve to bring DPW’s heavy-duty fleet up to date, position the Town for improved road maintenance and increased functional capacity.”

Majority Leader Bateson continued, “Given the age of DPW’s fleet, this appropriation was a prudent
investment for us to make at this juncture. We do, however, remain concerned that the RTM has not been
presented with a strategic plan for fleet replenishment from the Administration, nor have they shared with
us how such a program might be funded. Moreover, it is important to note that just a few short years ago
there was wide agreement among town bodies that operating expenses such as asphalt paving should not be funded through bond resolutions, but instead be included in regular yearly budgets.”

Majority Leader Bateson concluded, “While decision making in the absence of a long-term plan is less
than ideal, the Republican RTM caucus was compelled to address the immediate needs of DPW in order to
maintain service levels the taxpayer expects and to provide for a safer work environment for those Town
employees who operate this machinery.”

“RTM Republicans wish to recognize the hard work and enterprising efforts of our DPW crews to extend the
life of our existing fleet,” said Tom McCarthy, Chairman, Public Works and Planning. Chairman McCarthy
added, “The Department has gone above and beyond to demonstrate the need for this fleet modernization
and we express our complete confidence in its ability to safely and efficiently serve the public with these new
vehicles.”

Respectfully submitted and signed by RTM Republican Leadership:
Ed Bateson, Majority Leader
Michael Herley, Deputy Majority Leader
Peter Ambrose, Finance Chairman
Jeff Steele, Legislation & Administration Chairman
Carol Way, Educations & Recreation Chairman
Tom McCarthy, Public Works & Planning Chairman
Joe DeMartino, Public Health & Safety Chairman
Pamela Iacono, SLMC Secretary
Mary McCullough, R-3
Hank Ference, R-3

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