Council Hears Budget Talk for Police, Fire, DPW and Health

On Tuesday night, town councilors got to hear from four department heads regarding the proposed FY2020 Budget.

First up was Police Chief Terry Delehanty who presented some items from his proposed budget of $3,639,989.

Included in the budget are continued plans to be in the schools with ALICE training, which educates school students and staff what to do in the event of an active shooter.

He added that the C4RJ (Restorative Justice) is a also utilized by the department. This year officers will also be trained to carry Tasers. The department will also receive radios, a computer server and the firearm simulator van will return.

Delehanty said the department, through Sgt. Mary Crisafi is working on becoming a Massachusetts Accredited Agency. The department is already a certified police agency.

Fire Chief Paul Flanagan shared news about his department and the proposed budget of $2,961,821. He said the department is down eight positions, but there is a backlog of 250 recruits at State Fire Academy. He intends on sending recruits to the Boston Fire Academy.

“We also work together with the health department in situations of hoarding,” Flanagan said.

As for a public safety building, Flanagan said there is no space in town for a building  ofthat size. He said they are looking as ways to connect to the police station.

“There are two homes in between the buildings that would be needed close the gap,” Flanagan said. “I don’t want the firefighters to end up in trailers.”

Steve Calla, director of public works, shared his budget of $862,400 not including snow and ice removal budgeted at $135,000. There is also a budget for maintenance of the cemeteries at $245,581.

“We had to be tight on our budgets,” Calla said.

His biggest challenge is numerous aging equipment. The vehicles used as sanders in the winter are over 25-years old.

Nurse Meredith Hurley presented her proposed health department budget of $138,621. She shared that 48 percent of all who entered treatment from Winthrop were seeking relief from heroin. She said ideally the town could use two to six social workers for the town and schools.

“My priorities include mental health, case management, acquire a social work, and childhood vaccines,” she said.

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