Four year, $250K Highway Department plan unveiled

Southold Town Highway Department building on Peconic Lane. (Cyndi Murray file photo)
Southold Town Highway Department building on Peconic Lane. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando unveiled a four-year, $250,000 capital plan to replace the highway department’s aging fleet during Tuesday morning’s Town Board work session.

The 40-page Highway Department Fleet Business Plan is divided into eight sections that outline both short and long-term strategies to purchase and replace equipment, as well as a budget for ongoing repairs needed to maintain the aging fleet.

The plan, which Mr. Orlando called a “philosophy on fleet maintenance,” calls for increasing the number of small to medium sized vehicles that can do 70 percent of the day-to-day services of the department. By using smaller trucks to preform much of the day-to-day work, the department would see an increased savings in fuel costs in the short term and would reduce the number of costly repairs to larger trucks in the long term, Mr. Orlando said.

“We over utilize the larger vehicles that are there to provide only 30 percent of the services,” the plan states. “Not only are the vehicles expensive to run but even more to repair. Our gaining equipment should be reserved for their purpose and to be replaced with the right tool for the job.”

To achieve this goal, the plan calls for rotating the department’s aging and costly large vehicles and replacing them with newer, more efficient vehicles over the next four years.

Discussion of Mr. Orlando’s plan was limited to 10 minutes during the work session. Board members said they would review the plan prior to the town’s Oct. 17 budget meeting and make recommendations and comments at that time.

Tuesday’s presentation comes five months after the Town Board told Mr. Orlando to establish a budget and schedule for equipment purchases before asking members for money to replace trucks unexpectedly.

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