WILTON — The Board of Selectpersons voted in favor of replacing one of the Highway Department 2009 Sterling wheeler trucks Tuesday evening, Oct. 15. Replacement of a second truck will be decided on by voters at a special town meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Town Manager Rhonda Irish said residents voted in 2008 to purchase two 2009 Sterling double-axle wheeler trucks as well as a 2009 single axle truck. As noted in the 10-year highway department capital plan, the double axle trucks would be replaced one at a time in 2020 and 2021. The single axle would be replaced in 2022.

“Unfortunately, last year we started having problems with the wheelers right at the first snowstorm,” Irish said. “We’ve been working on repairing them and trying to get them through the time to replace them. We’ve been without a mechanic almost from the first of the year. Over the course of the last year, year and a half, we’ve spent about $22,000 per truck to keep them going.”

During the budget process last year, it was determined the department needed a replacement loader at a cost of just under $174,000.

“There aren’t enough funds in the capital account for the loader replacement and replacement of two trucks,” Irish said.

Irish suggested purchasing a 2020 International HV-507 for $163,324 using $30,000 from the highway department capital account and $133,324 from the Comfort Inn TIF account. The purchase price includes $22,000 for a trade-in, she said.

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“The truck is ready to go,” she said. “This would allow us to purchase one without affecting taxes this year.”

The second truck, a 2019 International HV507, would be ready in month, she said. The purchase price of $163,649 includes $25,000 for a trade-in.

She suggested purchasing the truck using $64,000 from the undesignated fund account and entering into a lease-purchase agreement for the remaining $99,649. Lease purchase payments of about $35,000 would be made over three years beginning in 2020. The payments would be made from the highway department capital account, she said.

“We don’t want to find ourselves in the same place 10 years from now of replacing both but I think there is a need right now,” said Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri. “Probably the only way we are going to get ourselves out of that cycle is by potentially looking at trading in one of the trucks in eight years in order to stagger the replacement in future years. As you have outlined, I think it is fiscally conservative and prudent, especially given what we have in the Comfort Inn TIF, as well as looking into the undesignated fund balance. I am in support of it.”

The second truck would need to have voter approval to purchase due to the use of undesignated funds and lease-purchase agreement, Irish said.

Voters at the special town meeting will also consider approving a marijuana moratorium in order to give the Planning Board time to work on an adult-use marijuana establishment ordinance to present at the 2020 town meeting.


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