Damaged public works truck being replaced

Damaged public works truck being replaced

reporter photo

In late-June, Durham residents voted to transfer more than $75,000 from the Public Works Vehicle Reserve to fund replacing a public works truck that was damaged in a one-car accident in March. 

The purchase of a 2018 Ford F-550 was approved during a special town meeting on June 24, with little discussion and no obvious opposition in a voice vote. 

The new truck will replace a 2011 model which was deemed a total loss after an incident during snow removal on March 4 this year. First Selectman Laura Francis said the driver was not injured. 

“Excessive may have been a factor, and so we took the opportunity to remind the employee about the importance of following the speed limits and we required him to go to a defensive driving course,” Francis said. 

She said the defensive driving course is one all the drivers take for refreshers on driving safety. 

“If it was totally conclusive, then obviously there might have been stiffer disciplinary action, but it was not conclusive,” Francis said, adding that weather also could have been a factor. 

The National Weather Service Archives show a “winter storm” from March 3 to 4, with snowfall counts around 11 inches in the Durham area. 

Francis said she is proud of the town’s public works department and has confidence in each individual. At the same time, she said it’s important to take opportunities to remind drivers of the importance of safety. 

During the Special Town Meeting, residents also approved the following: transfer of $4,763 from Cemetery Stone Repairs Reserve; $1,775 for the repair of historically significant grave marker repairs and $2,998 to Durham Cemetery Company Revenue. 

They also voted to join the Middletown Area Transit District, in accordance with provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes. The service offers a mixed route, ADA Dial-ARide and rural transportation in Middletown, Middlefield, East Hampton, Portland, Durham and parts of Cromwell and Meriden. 

Twitter: @baileyfaywright