Supervisor’s Report on Master Plan phone survey, savings in contracts

Saturday, September 13, 2014
by Rob Greenstein

Editor’s Note: In “Read more…” is the full Supervisor’s Report from the Town Board meeting of Wednesday, September 10, on the following topics:

• Master Plan mailing explaining phone survey, a return “How-are-we-doing?” card

• Workers Compensation Renewal, savings of $222,525 for 2014-15

• Garbage Contract, savings of $477,980 per year of seven-year contract

Master Plan Mailing

As you may have heard, we are working with an outside survey research firm to gather input from local residents about what they think is important to address in the master plan. Starting on September 18th, you may be contacted by a representative at PSB Interviewing to participate in the telephone survey. The phone interviews will be conducted during the last two weeks in September and should take you around 20 minutes to complete. This is a great opportunity to share your opinions and we would greatly appreciate your participation. After the interview process concludes and the data is consolidated, we will share the aggregated findings with the public. As an important member of our community, we want to keep you engaged throughout the process.

Send back the return postcard to tell us “How’re we doing?”

When you receive the mailing you will note a return postcard. Please take a moment to “Tell Us How We’re Doing”. We welcome your feedback. Feel free to share any comments, concerns or suggestions with the Town Board.

Workers Compensation Renewal Savings

New Castle is proud to announce substantial savings on their workers compensation premium. The town now pays $222,525.00 less in Workers Compensation premium than it did for the same insurance in 2013-14. This is a 29.00% savings! This is a good deal for the taxpayers of New Castle, and I am very pleased with the savings. We will continue to pursue measures to reduce our costs as we try to increase the services provided to our residents.”

Garbage Contract

At the last Town Board meeting, I announced a new garbage contract with savings for all services Town wide estimated to be $477,980 per year. Over the course of the seven (7) year contract, we are saving over $3,000,000.00. After this announcement, I received many inquiries, so I wanted to addresses them. First, we did not change companies. We are still using Sani-Pro. Services will not be cut. As far as the annual fee per household, we expect the $485 annual fee to be decreased. That $485 fee has held for at least 4 years. We have been heavily subsidizing it with fund balance to keep it constant. As we start our 2015 budget process we will be calculating the new annual fee per household. Well, how did we achieve such substantial savings? I will read to you a quote from Bart Carey, Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Works, “we did not maximize our savings when we went to once a week - that was a major criticism of the once a week transition. The original shift from twice to once a week garbage collection was in the middle of a negotiated contract. Sani-Pro provided some savings to the town but was actually not required to provide any. The idea of once a week garbage collection was a tremendous cost savings measure. When we finally had the opportunity to bid out once a week collection using Hudson Valley Bid Network, which has given our RFP’s much wider exposure and increased responses from vendors, we were able to realize the results of increased competition. The inclusion of once a week and twice a week collection as options increased the competitive bid results for both of these options.”

Millwood Task Force Name Change

We voted on and passed a resolution to change the title of the Millwood Task Force to “Millwood-West End Advisory Board”. This Advisory Board will protect the interests of the residents on the West End of the Town of New Castle, as well as Millwood.

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