Tree trimming will be a little easier this year, thanks to the recent acquisition of a tree truck for the Public Works department.
The truck, a 2000 International with 40,000 miles on it, was purchased for about $30,000, which had been earmarked for the truck in this year's budget, Public Works Operation Manager Clem Langlois said. Langlois said a new truck would have cost in the neighborhood of about $165,000; the town budgeted up to $54,000 for the purchase of a used vehicle.
The need for the truck, Langlois said, had been building up since Storm Irene last year, which was followed quickly on its heels by the October snowstorm that took down power lines across the state and left many people in town without power for as many as 10 days.
Langlois said the tree truck was purchased from a local tree trimming company. He said the trade-in value of the truck was estimated at about $48,000 so he feels the town got a fairly good deal.
"We'll use it for tree trimming in the winter and so we won't have to contract out as much other than for the big, huge trees," said Langlois.
Langlois said use of the truck will require specialized training. The entire public works crew will need to be certified on how to operate the truck and he expects about six workers, including himself and other foremen, from public works and recreation departments will need to be bucket certified.
"We'll mostly use it for the canopy under the [power lines]," Langlois said, adding that Parks and Recreation Department will likely use it for changing lights on light poles. He also said it can be used for painting some hard to reach areas at Town Hall and for reaching up to clean some of the high windows.
The truck is currently out to be painted to match town equipment and add the town logo, once it returns it will then go through a thorough check by maintenance personnel.
"We expect to have it back in a few weeks and then out on the road in October," Langlois said.