Now that we have established a solid structure for the highway department, as with any large project a realistic timeline is extremely important. First, we had to assess what we currently have in our arsenal of equipment and staff. Then we collaborated to decide what is truly needed to make up an efficient highway department, from top to bottom. Along with all of the factors needed for a new department, we also wanted to minimize the financial impact to the citizens of Andover.
As far as personnel goes, we currently have two full time-employees; a road agent; a subcontracted grader operator; and subcontractors for snow removal. We have determined that we should retain the two full-time employees for the future. In addition, we will be adding a full-time equipment operator, a full-time highway superintendent, and two seasonal employees. Snow removal will be mostly completed in-house, with some availability for subcontractors depending on the conditions.
For the equipment, it is crucial to have the tools needed to complete the job. Our current inventory is a one-ton truck, mowers, and a grader. In order to efficiently complete the tasks ahead of us, we decided we would need more equipment. We looked up the items we rented the most in the past, which included a backhoe/loader and a six wheeler. It would be beneficial for the town if we had these items in our personal inventory.
The option to do a lease-to-own was the most cost effective, so for 2021, we thought it would be best to start a lease-to-own on both of these pieces of heavy equipment. Going forward, we would only need to complete maintenance on our equipment, which would be built into the budget.
With any department, a building is necessary for the storage, maintenance, and protection of the equipment and materials needed to maintain the Town roads. There will be a building located at White Oak to fortify this department. It will need to include a working bathroom, an office, and a few bays. The building will hopefully be in the works in the next few years.
Not all of these items would be possible without a budget. Without going into too many details, with this structure, everything is itemized. We went through line by line and came up with realistic needs of the business and allocated funds. To our surprise, the budgeting for this department came out pretty level with years past!
We have been delighted to work on this project, and have the opportunity to serve our community. We have attempted to be as thorough as possible with this project and hope to see this come into fruition! As always, if you have any questions or comments, please send an email to HighwayDepartmentCommittee2020@nullgmail.com.