TOWNSEND — The town’s facility maintenance department will see an increase of $28,142 in their budget for 2011. The town is beginning to assume responsibility for the new library, senior center and meeting space donated by Sterilite.
“None of what we had to budget this year was a surprise,” town administrator Greg Barnes said. “There is a cost to any facility. The town received an exceptional value.” he said.
Barnes based the budget proposal on limited historical information. “We only have less than six months worth of data to base decisions on. We haven’t gone through a complete calendar year. We have to use estimates as to cost,” he said.
So far, energy costs have been higher than estimated by the consulting engineers Barnes said. Based on the existing data, he budgeted an additional $15,000 annually for energy.
People using the facility are working on using less energy.
“We’ve done a number of things over the last few months,” Barnes said. Fewer lights are left on at night and the audio-visual equipment is turned on as needed rather than left running.
The staff is being trained on using the lighting system and the computers can now be turned off in groups.
The heating and cooling system is still being fine-tuned Barnes said. The state-of-the-art system is computer controlled.
Last year at the special town meeting the Facility Maintenance Coordinator position was funded at a different classification as recommended by the Facility Management Implementation Committee leading to an increased pay rate. Barnes said the job was reclassified due to the complexities of the duties.
The current budget includes the pay scale for the new classification.
The town will be responsible for landscaping the area during the last few months of fiscal year 2011 Barnes said. Presently the landscaping, mostly consisting of mowing, is being done by Gary Shepherd.
Barnes said a number of systems in the building will be coming off warranty this year. Most warranties will continue through late October and then the town will have to assume those costs.
He said some service will involve repairs as needed and others will be on contracts. “You have a whole variety of systems; HVAC, lighting, AV, alarms; fire and burglar, and a key system,” he said.
“I feel we’re getting closer in terms of what the regular costs will be. We’ll probably have to budget more in the future for landscaping. We’re assuming only three months that need to be covered by the town,” Barnes said.
An additional $4,500 was added to the budget to cover custodial costs on an as-needed basis. This could be used for landscaping, coverage for events at the meeting hall or even snow and ice removal Barnes said.
Construction and punch list issues are being dealt with by Sterilite, Barnes said. “There have been some minor issues with the building but considering the size and complexity in the overall scheme of things, I can’t praise the building enough,” Barnes said.
“That building was built to last a thousand years. It was built to last generation to generation. It is a well-built building,” he said.