Dayton looking to trim $3 million from Public Works budget

These were among the suggestions included in a proposal submitted by Fred Stovall, director of public works, to city commissioners during a Saturday, Dec. 12, budget hearing.

The public works department provides such services as waste collection, snow removal and street and park maintenance.

The proposal calls for the department to have 291 budgeted positions in 2010, compared with more than 340 budgeted positions this year. The suggested cuts include eliminating 34 vacant positions and another dozen filled jobs, Stovall said.

Additionally, the proposal calls for eliminating curbside leaf collection. Instead, residents either would put raked leaves into paper yard waste bags for collection by city crews or transport them to city-owned drop sites, saving the city $470,000, Stovall said.

The department also plans to retire five leaf loaders and four vacuum trucks, cutting $88,000 in maintenance expenses from the budget, Stovall said.

Other suggested changes include dialing back trash pick up to four days per week from five, eliminating holiday trash service except on Thanksgiving and Christmas and offering bulk pick up on a monthly rather than a biweekly basis.

The public works department’s proposal also calls for increasing quarterly waste-collection fees to $117.36 from $91.36, generating another $1.3 million in revenue.

The proposed rate increase only would affect Dayton customers and not those in the city of Riverside or Jefferson Twp., which contract with Dayton for garbage-collection service, Stovall said.

Despite the proposed cuts and budget constraints, Stovall said his department would do its best to keep roads safe this winter and plans call for it to replace four tandem de-icing trucks.

“We’re going to give it 100 percent and try to deliver the services our citizens deserve,” he said.

Commissioner Nan Whaley said she was pleased with the cost-cutting ideas offered by Stovall’s department and had anticipated a more bleak assessment.

Commissioner Matt Joseph lauded the department’s efforts to enhance its operations with the help of such technology as inventory-tracking software for spare vehicle parts.

The directors of the city’s water department and its airport also submitted budget proposals.

The City Commission is expected to vote on the budget in early 2010.

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