Public Works budget overdraft rises

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FARMINGTON — If the weather stays calm and sunny as predicted for the next couple days, the Public Works Department will not go any farther over budget.

At this point, the department has gone $129,000 over budget for 2014, Town Manager Richard Davis recently told the Board of Selectmen. This leaves the department at 13 percent of the 15 percent allowed by state law for budget overdrafts in this department.

“If they have to go out, they have to go,” Davis said of workers needed for any potential storms occurring prior to Jan. 1, when the new year’s budget begins.

Two weeks ago, the overbudget amount was $96,000, or about 9 percent, Davis and Denis Castonguay, department director, told the board.

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The storms this year have wreaked havoc with the budget, Castonguay said Monday.

“The storms have lasted so long,” he said. “We’ve used so much material plus overtime and fuel.”

As long as this weather continues, the department can make it through a couple more days to the Jan. 1 start of the budget for 2015.

“We have to continue” regardless of budgets, he said of the work on town roads.

The roads are presently in good shape, he said.

Emergency responses allow the department to use a certain amount of the year’s budget before it is approved by voters at the March town meeting, he said.

During the March meeting, voters will need to ratify the overdraft caused by snow, ice, a polar vortex and summer rains in 2014.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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