Cameras and cars on committee's wish list
Break-ins, a truck fire and a fuel line leak prompted members of the Capital Planning Committee to include funds for new items in the town’s FY17 Capital Plan, which will be voted on at this month’s Town Meeting.
Meeting on Oct. 13, the committee approved requests for $175,000 to replace a bucket truck totaled in a fire at Municipal Maintenance in September, $75,000 for surveillance cameras and other technology, as well as $25,000 for three electric cars and two charging stations.
A total amount for the Capital Plan as not yet been finalized.
Town Administrator Derek Sullivan said the bucket truck was a key piece of equipment that had to be replaced following the fire.
Built in 1989, Sullivan said the truck was, “something we used nonstop, from putting up flags and banners on Main Street to trimming trees – that one was used a whole lot. It’s a big loss for us”
Sullivan said insurance coverage will cover some of the replacement cost. Officials will start looking for a replacement, either new or used.
“It depends on the best deal we can get,” said Sullivan.
Information Technology Director Matthew Underhill said the fire at Municipal Maintenance highlighted the need for surveillance cameras. Underhill brought forth the proposal earlier this year. After the fire and a spate of break-ins of employee cars parked in at Wareham EMS headquarters, he said the need for cameras was evident.
Also, with the school bus fleet now under the direction of Municipal Maintenance, people are coming and going from the building after hours, he said. With the installation of fuel pumps at the building, cameras would add an extra layer of security and hopefully discourage employees from filling up personal vehicles when no one is around.
“If there are any abnormal charges there will be video to look at,” said Underhill.
The funds will also be used to replace security cameras at the Wareaham Free Library. Underhill noted security cameras had been installed at the library, but were turned off 10 years ago. They no longer work, he said.
Switching gears to transportation, Sullivan said when it comes to how town employees get around officials are seeking funds to lease three electrical cars and buy two charging stations.
Federal programs have incentivized cities and towns to purchase or lease the cars through rebates. Currently, employees who are not working for Municipal Maintenance use old police cruisers for town business. A fuel leak in one of those cars resulted in a $2,500 repair bill recently.
“There are more economical ways to get around then retired police cruisers,” said Sullivan.
The plan is to lease the electrical vehicles for three years. Rebates would cover a significant portion of the cost, said Sullivan. Up to $7,500 is available for electric vehicles and $2,500 for hybrid vehicles.
The charging stations will be located at Town Hall. Looking ahead, Sullivan floated the idea of installing another charging station at the Cranberry Region Visitors’ Center located on I-195 in Wareham.
Doing so would hopefully entice drivers of electric cars to stop and charge up before heading towards the Cape.
“It’s another way for us to sell the town,” said Sullivan.
Town Meeting is scheduled for Oct. 24 starting at 7 p.m. in the Wareham High School auditorium.