As published in the Record Journal Wednesday February 15, 2012
By Russell Blair
WALLINGFORD — The Town Council has approved $15,000 in extra funds to fix traffic signals.
Town Engineer John Thompson said the line item for traffic signal repairs was cut from $17,000 to $12,000 in this year’s budget. So far, $5,000 has been spent, but needed repairs are expected to exceed the balance.
“Due to a major equipment failure at the John Street and South Cherry Street intersection (our oldest traffic signal in town); while we are maintaining operations with borrowed equipment, our contract vendor has submitted an estimate of almost $10,000 to replace the damaged equipment.” Thompson wrote in a letter to Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr.
Thompson said that with five months left in the fiscal year, the Engineering Department wanted to keep a reserve beyond the scheduled repairs “in the event that we need to purchase traffic signal bulbs or other equipment to keep the signals in operation.”
During a brief appearance before the council Tuesday, Thompson said Republican Councilor Craig Fishbein had proposed the $5,000 cut, which the council ultimately passed.
“He asked me at that time what would be the result of that and I told him that if there was a need, I would be back before the council during the year,” Thompson said. “That need has identified itself in the way of some unanticipated expenses.”
Fishbein did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, and Thompson said he had hoped Fishbein would be there so he could make his point.
“You wanted to say, ‘I told you so,’ ” Council Chairman Robert Parisi said.
In other business in Tuesday’s short meeting, the council scheduled a public hearing for its next meeting, at 7 p.m. Feb. 28, to discuss amendments to the town’s purchasing guidelines. New language shows a preference for local companies.
The council also approved an appropriation of $37,500 for the Water Division, which requested money for consulting services for concrete repairs at the water treatment plant.