SPENCER — The Town of Spencer Board meeting Tuesday evening began with Supervisor Allen Fulkerson proposing a new highway superintendent software system.
Among its many functions, it could keep track of time sheets as well as inventory and documentation with pictures. Highway Superintendent Mike Austen said that the system is quite comprehensive and that the town would not use all of it, but timesheets and vacation time records would be particularly convenient through the system.
Austen said he has had exposure to similar software before, but this software would still require a learning curve.
The software costs $4,000 initially and $1,200 as annual support, as well as a few hundred dollars for tutorials. The cost is similar to that of the clerk’s software. Payments would come out of the Highway Department budget and partially out of CHIPs funds left over from bridge constructions.
The proposal offer for the software will be available for about 60 more days. Through discussion, the board decided to have Supervisor Fulkerson ask the Association of Towns if there are simpler systems that still meet the town’s needs for a lower cost. However, the board did acknowledge that the features of the software are what the town is looking for and that the system looks promising.
The new Town of Spencer website domain name has been registered. The domain name is www.townofspencernewyork.com but can also be searched as .org and .net. These domains will cost $30 annually to maintain. The old website will remain functional for the year but will be canceled before next year’s renewal.
Much of the highway department’s equipment has been replaced in recent years, but the town’s 1990 grader has yet to be replaced. A 2017 grader from Bradco would cost $125,000 — however, with other payments, this year’s highway budget only has about $56,000 left over for equipment purchases.
A lease-to-own option is available for the new grader in the form of three-to-five year payments. The board decided to purchase the grader through the three-year payment option costing about $44,000 per year.
Ending the meeting, Fulkerson mentioned the possibility of applying for a Bridge New York grant, which is a state program that does not require grantees to match the given amount of funds. The possible grant would cover the cost of up to five culvert projects or three bridge projects.
Being open to municipalities across the state makes the grant competitive, but the town board agreed that the potential work it would fund makes applying worth the chance. If the town completes the RFQ (request for qualifications), HUNT Engineering could design the plans for bridges to be worked on and submit the application for the grant.
The application for the grant through HUNT Engineering would cost the town $1,500. The effort and cost of applying for the grant would be more than paid off if the town’s application were accepted.
Fulkerson stated that bridges will probably be the largest cost over the next 10 years, and the town simply cannot afford all the bridge projects that need to be completed. The board decided to look into what bridge projects would be submitted if an application for the grant were made.