Could the Town Save Money By Turning Off Park Avenue's Decorative Lights?
The Portsmouth Town Council tentatively approved a number of department budgets Wednesday night at Town Hall.
Could the decorative lights on Park Avenue be shut off overnight to save the town money? One town councilor thinks there could be savings.
The Town Council met Wednesday night at Town Hall to continue its tentative approval of the town administrator's proposed budget.
The meeting was called to order with only four members present: Joseph Robicheau, Judi Staven, Elizabeth Pedro and Paul Kesson.
Robicheau said Jim Seveney and Michael Buddemeyer had “unexpected work obligations," while Keith Hamilton was away on business.
Park Avenue's Decorative Lights
While discussing the line item "Utilities and Town Hall" in the proposed budget, Councilor Liz Pedro questioned why the decorative lights on Park Avenue are "on" throughout the night.
Approximately 16 decorative street lights line the beach wall along Park Avenue. Street lights also line the opposite side of the avenue.
“The decorative lights on Park Avenue, those lights are going on all night long,” Pedro said. “Perhaps, after 1, they could go off? There are street lights on Park Avenue, too, so you have double sets of lights.”
Pedro proposed shutting off the lights after bars close at 1 a.m.
“National Grid is in charge of that," said Town Administrator Robert Driscoll. "I don’t know if we can put timers on that. It takes awhile for requests to get processed.”
Driscoll said he would look into this and return to the council with more information.
New Computers for Town Employees
Councilor Staven questioned a $30,000 additional charge under the line item “information and technology" within the Utilities and Town Hall budget. According to Staven, the charge is to purchase 14 computers.
“We are replacing work stations,” Driscoll said. "It’s a matter of updating the computers that need to be updated."
“This year, it’s to change out some of the older PCs, desktops,” said Finance Director David Faucher.
Staven asked to see a list of the employees receiving new computers. “It says 14 computers," she said. "I would like to see a list.”
Staven motioned to approve the Utilities and Town Hall budget without the $30,000 expense. The council unanimously, tentatively approved this department budget, totaling $840,343.
Tentative Approvals for Department Budgets
The council unanimously, 4-0, tentatively approved the following department budgets. These are only tentative approvals. The council begins work on the preliminary budget next week.
|Department||Total Expense||% Change|
|Sandy Point Beach||$216,096||-3%|
|Utilities and Town Hall||$840,343||-2.5%|
|Debt Service - Town||$1,170,059||+35%|
|Debt Service - School||$2,087,828||-2%|
The council also unanimously, tentatively approved warrant items 28 through 32. To view the town administrator's proposed budget, click here.
The council adjourned, but not before one final request for the town administrator.
Staven requested Driscoll e-mail a list of new hires per department, whose costs are included in the proposed budget.