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Presentation Discusses New $12-14 Million Upton DPW Facility

The Upton Board of Selectmen heard the results of a feasibility study concerning a new Department of Public Works (DPW)

facility. During an August 28 meeting, Weston and Sampson representative Jeff Alberti reviewed his findings.

To start, Alberti provided the Selectmen an overview of the DPW's responsibilities, which include maintaining 80 miles of road

in town, flood prevention, maintaining

the Department's equipment and vehicles, drinking water and wastewater treatment, as well as the maintenance of the parks, cemeteries, and forest. The DPW is also on call 24 hours a day to handle snow and ice

removal, hurricane and windstorm cleanup, flooding, and water main and sewer breaks. According to Alberti, the existing DPW

facility does not meet code requirements because it's

too small to support its operations, as a result, some of

those must be located in temporary trailers. Alberti explained some of the town's multi- million-dollar fleet is stored outside or under an open canopy due to a lack of space. He noted the life span of the fleet lessens due to its exposure to the outdoor conditions.

In addition, there is no vehicle wash area indoors and staff must wash equipment outside in all types of weather. Placing all the vehicles and equipment in a bigger storage area will assist with employee safety, protect the equipment, help with stormwater pollution control and make operations more efficient.

Inside, there is no room for lockers and the break room, which also acts as a meeting / training room and storm event center, is too small. "It's the heart of the operation," said Alberti. He also explained the toilet facilities do not meet current plumbing codes, the building has poor ventilation and lighting and poses safety concerns for the staff.

Alberti said a number of concepts were discussed but the preferred concept would be new construction in addition to reusing/repurposing the existing facility. A price tag of $11.8 million was estimated for the project. In addition, a cost summary for a town-wide fueling facility was estimated at $1.43 million.

Alberti explained that over the years, the costs to build have continued to escalate stating over the last five years, construction costs have escalated up to 122 percent. "There is a cost to waiting," he said to the Selectmen.

The Selectmen agreed it was important to plan for the existing and future DPW growth but want to see more options that would cut down the cost for taxpayers. "It's not just about the space, it's not just about putting the trucks inside. It's about bringing the facility up to code," said DPW Director Dennis Westgate in closing. "It's about providing restroom facilities and enough locker room space to treat our staff correctly and increase our efficiencies...

At a minimum you're protecting the large investment the town has already committed to with the equipment you have on sight now."


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