Seal: Washington, Connecticut; Founded 1779
The Town of Washington, Connecticut

Special Town Meeting

Note from webmaster: If this seems like short notice...
This notice was sent to the Waterbury Republican on November 5, for publication on November 7. I received this notice on November 8, with no further information. On November 9, I asked for and received the "program summary" document that follows the legal notice. -- Rex Swain

November 13, 2007

The voters and electors of the Town of Washington are hereby warned that a Special Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at Bryan Memorial Town Hall, Washington Depot, Connecticut to consider and act upon the following:

1. Shall the Town of Washington approve a resolution to endorse the Litchfield Hills Public Works Equipment Cooperative as proposed under the Regional Incentive Performance Program referenced in Section 8 of Public Act 07-239 (An Act Concerning Responsible Growth). Further information regarding this cooperative is available in the office of the Town Clerk.

Dated at Washington, CT this 5th day of November 2007.

Richard C. Sears
Nicholas N. Solley
Mark E. Lyon
Board of Selectmen

(A Public Information Meeting will be held following the Special Town Meeting to discuss the Washington Primary School Building Committee's Master Plan for renovations.)


Litchfield Hills Public Works Equipment Cooperative

October 18, 2007

Introduction: The legislature has established a new Regional Performance Incentive Program to encourage regionalization of existing municipal services. The purpose of the program is to lower the costs and tax burden associated with providing the service. The legislature has authorized $8.6 million for the program, which is a onetime grant for a one year period of time.

Proposal: To establish a "Litchfield Hills Public Works Equipment Cooperative" to better meet the needs of municipal Public Works Departments. The Cooperative would operate under the aegis of the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials. Program funding would be used to purchase selected Public Works equipment that would be available for use in the regional area.

Justification: Towns in the Litchfield Hills Region currently must rent certain public works equipment on an annual basis or contract for these services. Significant cost savings could be realized if the equipment could be purchased and shared on a region-wide basis. Based on a survey of municipal officials, the equipment in greatest need is a Vactor Pump/Catch Basin Cleaner and two street sweepers. Economies of scale would be achieved in the purchase of this equipment. For example, towns spend about $175 per hour for private sector catch basin cleaning services. If this equipment were available for regional towns to share, it is estimated that the equipment could be made available and maintained for about $75 an hour. Similarly, private sector contracts for street sweeping cost municipalities about $125 per hour, and this rate could be reduced to an estimated $60 per hour by providing municipal access to a publicly owned street sweeper.

Approach: The Vactor Pump/Catch Basin Cleaner would be stored and maintained by the City of Torrington Public Works Department. A Memorandum of Understanding would be signed by the LHCEO, City of Torrington, and participating municipalities with provisions for storing, maintaining, insuring and sharing the equipment with other interested towns in the Litchfield Hills Region. It is envisioned that partnering towns could either borrow the equipment for use by their own personnel in cooperation with Torrington Public Works personnel, or else Torrington Public Works employees could be retained to operate the equipment in other towns in cooperation with municipal employees. An estimated operation and maintenance fee of $75 per hour is proposed, which is less than half the cost charged by the private sector.

One of the street sweepers would be stored and maintained by the Harwinton Public Works Department. This sweeper would be available to share with participating towns in the southern portion of the region, and with the towns of Washington and Warren that have expressed interest in participating in the program. The other sweeper would be stored and maintained by the Hartland Public Works Department and would be available to share with participating towns in the northern portion of the region. A Memorandum of Understanding would be signed for the storage, maintenance, insurance and sharing of this equipment. It is likely that the street sweepers would be operated by trained personnel from the towns utilizing the equipment, and provisions would be made in the MOU for the town to pay all fuel costs and to return the equipment in good operating condition.

Towns in the regional area would not be obligated to use the new equipment, and could still contract independently for these services if so desired.

Funding Request: The LHCEO would apply for $325,000 for the Vactor Pump/Catch Basin Cleaner, and $200,000 for each of the two 4-Wheel sweepers. A modest administrative fee would also be included in the grant request to facilitate program operation.

-- Dan McGuinness
Northwestern CT Council of Governments (NWCOG)

Web page last updated: November 10, 2007