Monday, April 20, 2015


As we all know, money does not grow on trees.  We also know it cost the town a lot of money to operate.  What I am recommending is that we spend the taxpayer’s money a little smarter.  I believe that no equipment/vehicles should be purchased before April 1st of each year.  The reason for this is to ensure the cost of winter is paid before purchasing additional equipment/vehicles.  Last year the town purchased the following:

9/2/2014 Mill Street Culvert Liner        $18,900
9/2/2014 Dump Body Installed          44,710
9/2/2014 Paving Bid (various pricing)
10/7/2014 2-Police Cruisers         53,292
10/21/2014 Engineer Bid ($75.00 per hour)
10/21/2014 Asphalt Reclaimer          31,490
11/5/2014 Public Works Heavy Duty Truc   52,669

As you can see, the Town Council approved the acquisition of numerous equipment/vehicles.  I cannot provide a total amount of money but it is substantial.  This was all done prior to understand what the cost of winter was going to be.  Two years ago, we needed additional sand and this year we had to use additional overtime for all the plowing that was done.  Public Works does an excellent job ensuring our roads are clear and safe for the residents.  However, this comes at a cost to the taxpayers.

Waiting until April 1st (which is 90 days prior to the end of the fiscal year) will provide the Council with a much better picture of how many tax dollars are available to spend without borrowing to pay for these items.  This current fiscal year taxpayers paid $63,950.00 in Interest on the Principal of $237, 050.00.  We cannot continue to lease to purchase or use a Promissory Note to acquire equipment/vehicles except in emergency cases.

I believe the amendment should read:  There will be no acquisitions of equipment/vehicles prior to April 1st with the exception of:

1. Any acquisition necessary to protect the citizens during the winter months (November through March).
2. Any acquisition of emergency equipment/vehicles.  The emergency status will be determined by the Town Manager and the Town Council.

The first priority must be the safety of our citizens during the winter months.  Once, we have passed the danger point of April 1st then whatever is important as far as equipment/vehicles can be purchased (paid in full).  This will reduce paying large amounts of interest and will eliminate paying for “Toys for the Boys”.  It is always nice to have the latest of everything but not at the expense of the taxpayers.

If I was still a member of the Finance Committee, this would have been my first recommendation to the Town Council.

Larry Fillmore