Friday, February 15, 2008

Reader: No Answer From Public Works Department


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Enfield Garbage Can Saga Continues":

>Residents also can purchase their barrels from retail stores, as long as they meet town standards.

What retail stores sells these tipper barrels? Just curious as to their prices. I called Enfield
Public Works, and they couldn't tell me anything about this program.

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  • Humpty Dumpty Had A Great Fall


  • New Brislin Column On Tipper Barrels
  • 41 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    a Public Works employee told me that this program won't get off the ground for quite awhile cuz the price of the tipper barrel trucks is very $$$$ and the town currently doesn't have enough of these special trucks.

    So what good is asking every resident to buy these barrels if there aren't enough truck equipped to even pick them up?

    Sounds like Enfield put the cart before the horse. But what else is new!

    Anonymous said...

    Now, now, now, the Town of Enfield web site has posted some info on the tipper barrels. Check it out, http://www.enfield-ct.gov/controls/eventview.aspx?MODE=SINGLE&ID=807

    While it doesn't say where, outside of Enfield Public Works, these barrels could be purchased, or for how much, it does provide the barrel dimensions.

    Frankly, I'd like to know how much the new tipper barrel trucks will cost, or how long it will take, through retirements, before the one-man-per-tipper-truck will actually "save" the Town any $$$.

    Joker said...

    Hey, does anyone know if the rumor is true? Are the dumocrats putting Toni Depace up for Town Chair? A buddy of mine says his friend on their comittee got a message from Mr. Tony himself. He won't call back. He don't want the big guy mad at him when he says no to him. Anyone know what's up or did I go to sleep and wake up on April Fools day?

    Anonymous said...

    Who cares what comes first, the barrels or the trucks? I have a big tipper barrel and it works great. I use 1 instead of my 2 home depot specials that I have to replace every 2 years. This works out way cheaper and they told me I have a 12 year warranty. I spent $50 for the one barrel. Only problem is the town won't take my old cans even when I write TRASH on them.

    Anonymous said...

    "Who cares what comes first, the barrels or the trucks? I have a big tipper barrel and it works great"

    I care. Its one thing to be made
    to buy a $60 tipper barrel. Its
    another thing if the Town then has to go out and buy expensive trucks, specially designed to pick up these barrels.

    Not sure where you got your older trash barrels, but I've had my Rubbermaid barrels for 20 years. And they still work fine. If you're that hard on barrels that you had to buy one of these tipper, that was your decision. Your choice. So its my choice to use my barrels.

    If the Town doesn't have enough specially equipped trucks, what's the rush to make everyone buy these barrels? Is someone in the Town getting a kickback on these barrels? Is that what the big rush is all about?

    Think about it - there currently aren't enough trucks in Enfield to
    handle the tipper program. And there's currently probably twice as many trash collectors on the payroll, than would be needed. Doesn't make any sense.

    Anonymous said...

    >I have a big tipper barrel and it works great.

    C'mon, we're talkin' a trash barrel here - want's not to work great? From a customer standpoint, anything that's got an wide-enough opening and you can put trash in it, works great. End of discussion.

    "This" tipper barrel stuff is all about the Town and what they claim is best for them. This isn't about the residents cuz a good many residents are quite satisfied with their old barrels.

    Talk about recycling nightmare. What will the Town "do" with all the older plastic and metal barrels that will would be put out to pasture. What a needless waste.

    Anonymous said...

    The town has trucks but not enough yet if the rumors are indeed true.

    The way I see it is we'll pay either way, by buying a tipper barrel or through txes for the workmens comp and replacement worker costs. Tippers mean Enfield can have 1 man trucks and fewer workmens comp claims. If we don't do tippers, we have the cost of the workers comp and then paying for replacement workers. Do I want it in my taxes where it never goes away or as a cost paid once? If it works that way, I want to pay once.

    The workers comp claims come from things like broken glass and sharp things in plastic bags. There have been stories of needle sticks, barrels full of road sand and dirt. The point of this little fact is that some abuse the service and then complain when the town does something about it.

    I don't have the $50 right now but there is something in this plan that makes sense. A few dollars a week and I'll get one in the spring.

    Anonymous said...

    Its true. Tony Dipace is up for the chair position of the dems. I hope he gets it.

    They make it easy don't they.

    Anonymous said...

    "I don't have the $50 right now but there is something in this plan that makes sense. A few dollars a week and I'll get one in the spring."

    The $50 for a tipper barrel doesn't concern me as much as the
    $50K (or whatever the cost will be)
    of these new tipper barrel trucks to pick up all these new tipper barrels. Who's paying for new these trucks?

    The $$$ laid out for this program will take many years for Enfield residents to re-coup. That's the issue here.

    And given that the unions have such a strangle hold on Enfield, its not likely there will be a noticeable decrease in the number of Public Works employees.

    Anonymous said...

    "Tippers mean Enfield can have 1 man trucks and fewer workmens comp claims."

    Enfield "could" have one-man trucks, but there's no way the unions will sit back and watch people be replaced by these trucks.

    Heck, the Enfield teachers are making enough of a ruckus over new BOE's audits, and no one is losing a position. This tipper barrel project is specifically aimed at cutting the work force so ya know the unions won't go along with it.

    Enfield'll have one-man trucks, and either the "other" man from previous trucks, will be sitting in the Public Works area, or they'll need to buy enough tipper barrel trucks so that each employee has one. How many trash collectors are on the books now?
    How many trucks are needed?

    This idea is not going to save any substantial money. Its merely a shell game.

    Anonymous said...

    The cost of the trucks should worry everyone if we look at it like a cost with no return on investment. I guess that's the $64,000 question. Have we done our homework and do we know that a $50K or $100K investment will pay off in 2, 3 or 5 years. The points about spending money are good ones. However, is this a worthwhile investment or simply a careless spend.

    Will tipper barrels make the trash runs faster? Then can we give up the Saturday runs and the overtime? Will the one man trucks mean level staffing or a reduction? Is there a market for the old trucks? Can we see that there will be fewer workers comp claimsover 5 years? The answers lie with the DPW and the town manager. They're askin us to trust them. I hope they did their homework and will lay it out at the public hearing.

    joker said...

    They do make it easy on us.

    Anonymous said...

    "I don't have the $50 right now but there is something in this plan that makes sense. A few dollars a week and I'll get one in the spring."

    I believe you can pay it off on a payment plan, just like with your taxes. If you can spread it out over 12 months, you tell me you can't afford $5 a month?

    Anonymous said...

    "The answers lie with the DPW and the town manager. They're askin us to trust them. I hope they did their homework and will lay it out at the public hearing."

    Sorry, but have lil'confidence
    in them or their plans. Thus far they haven't proven themselves in my eyes. Just look around town. Is Enfield any better off since Shanley was replaced?

    Anonymous said...

    > I believe you can pay it off on a payment plan, just like with your taxes. If you can spread it out over 12 months, you tell me you can't afford $5 a month?

    Its not a matter of being able to
    find $50 for one of these new barrel. Its the general principle of it. Its more a matter of the Town telling me I have to spend my money. I have no say in the matter?

    That's what frosts me big-time. The Town officials, sitting in their chambers, coming up with ways to spend more of my money. Am sick of it and so are my neighbors.

    They waste money left & right, like paying for lights on some ballfield that no one gets to walk on, let alone play on, yet they can't fund these special barrels for this program (a program that may very well end up costing everyone far more money than is already spent on trash removal).

    I don't understand how so many residents can be so lemming-like, and just "do" whatever they're told by elected officials. Small town elected officials aren't any smarter than anyone else in town.
    They don't have all the answers.

    Anonymous said...

    "However, is this a worthwhile investment or simply a careless spend."

    Given the Town of Enfield's track record, am inclined to believe this is just another one of their many "careless spends". When was the last time the Town had a truly "worthwhile investment"?

    Seriously, when was the last time you can honestly say that the Town made a wise investment in something?

    Anonymous said...

    >They waste money left & right, like paying for lights on some ballfield that no one gets to walk on

    Talk about costs, how much did this 3 question survey to Enfield teachers and administrators cost the Town to design, print, distribute, collect and tally?

    And depending on who one talks to, or read in newspapers, this survey was either a bust (cuz all the answers sounded alike) or the greatest thing since sliced breads.

    Check out letter to editor @ Reminder site. Talk about a BOE member "grandstanding".
    http://www.remindernews.com/node/7/&town=enfield&url=ENF-2008-02-19-12-Ar01200

    > The first question in the survey was “Within the building in which you spend the majority of your work day, in what areas can efficiencies be realized?”

    > The second question was “Within the district as a whole, in what areas can efficiencies be realized?”

    > The final question: “What additional tools/resources do you need to enhance the educational experience for students?”

    Anonymous said...

    >> Talk about costs, how much did this 3 question survey to Enfield teachers and administrators cost the Town to design, print, distribute, collect and tally?

    gawd, did anyone read that entire letter? its pretty darn silly. does this Enfield BOE member want a gold star or something because he took the time to review all 282 responses? that's his job to review them or why else was he elected?

    about all that letter proves is he is working hard to impress the Enfield Teachers Assoc, and that he can "read". (depending on what school system he graduated from, kudos to them for teaching him that skill).


    "Letters to the Editor
    I would like to say thanks to the teachers of the Enfield for participating in the recent Board of Education survey. The Board of Education received 282 responses from the rank and file. I took the time to review each one."

    Anonymous said...

    Regarding that Enfield BOE survey to teachers, didn't Enfield have funds left over after they renovated many of the town's elementary schools? Weren't those funds instead used to help build the 2 high schools' new synthetic football fields?

    Based on responses to 1st question, certainly sounds like that leftover money should have used to repair/replace ineffective
    energy systems in the Town's schools, instead of building two football fields.

    Cutting energy costs is far more beneficial to the all townsfolks
    and taxpayers, than 2 football fields.

    And how much did this survey cost taxpayers?

    >>> first question in the survey was “Within the building in which you spend the majority of your work day, in what areas can efficiencies be realized ?” The number one answer, Energy Efficiency. The answers were quite detailed : “Old outdated drafty windows,” “weather stripping-some doors have snow that comes in,” “the building is often too hot or too cold.” Non-functioning thermostats seem to be the biggest problem. This is not a reflection on the maintenance department - their budget has received its share of cuts.

    Anonymous said...

    > Check out letter to editor @ Reminder site. Talk about a BOE member "grandstanding".

    Who wrote this letter? Are they also an Enfield teacher? Can see where their loyalities lie.


    "Letters to the Editor
    I would like to say thanks to the teachers of the Enfield for participating in the recent Board of Education survey. The Board of Education received 282 responses from the rank and file. I took the time to review each one.
    The first question in the survey was “Within the building in which you spend the majority of your work day, in what areas can efficiencies be realized ?” The number one answer, Energy Efficiency. The answers were quite detailed : “Old outdated drafty windows,” “weather stripping-some doors have snow that comes in,” “the building is often too hot or too cold.” Non-functioning thermostats seem to be the biggest problem. This is not a reflection on the maintenance department - their budget has received its share of cuts.
    The second question was “Within the district as a whole, in what areas can efficiencies be realized?” Number one answer: retirement incentive for teachers . How does this save the district money? Teachers with longer service are paid more than newly-hired teachers . Retirement of 20 teachers and the hiring of 20 new teachers can save the district $500,000.
    The final question: “What additional tools/resources do you need to enhance the educational experience for students ?” This question drew the most detailed and lengthy answers. Number one answer: updated technology. No surprise there, our school system is years behind most towns with outdated computers and software. Some of the responses: “Internet access in all classrooms ,” “at least one computer in each class room (Apple IIe does not count),” “computers are 10 years old,” “My computer can’t run the software provided with my math texts.” One teacher writes “Enfield is in the Dark Ages.”
    If you want to find out what’s broken in an organization, just ask your employees . Remember Enfield, these are your employees! Enfield spends far less than the state average in supplies, equipment and maintenance. Enfield debt service is far below the state average . So why are taxes so high? We as a community should look at our tax base; our town needs commercial and industrial growth. The taxes generated by new commercial and industrial growth can be used to deliver tax relief and help bring our schools out of the dark ages."

    Anonymous said...

    "So why are taxes so high? We as a community should look at our tax base; our town needs commercial and industrial growth. The taxes generated by new commercial and industrial growth can be used to deliver tax relief and help bring our schools out of the dark ages."

    in response to that author, Enfield can't keep the businesses
    they've relied upon for years, let alone attract any new ones. Casual Corners, Legos, the number of empty storefronts in the Enfield Square, do I need to say more? About all that gets built in Enfield these days, is the new senior condos, or $$$$ single family homes (that few can afford given the number of Enfield foreclosures).

    talk like your letter is cheap. instead of stating the obvious flaws with Enfield's current tax base, do something about this mess.

    Anonymous said...

    "Enfield spends far less than the state average in supplies, equipment and maintenance. Enfield debt service is far below the state average . So why are taxes so high?"

    Taxes are high cuz Enfield doesn't know how to handle money properly.
    while the Town of Enfield may spend less on supplies, that's because the Town Enfield spends more on teachers' salaries than majority of CT towns and cities.

    Can't have it both way. Will the teachers take a cut so that more funds can go to supplies, equipment and maint? doesn't appear they will.

    Anonymous said...

    "Who wrote this letter? Are they also an Enfield teacher? Can see where their loyalities lie."

    ahh, gotta love it. this the same person who went to Enfield Town Council and got them to agree to pay for his little league's electric bill (so essentially the Town is using tax dollars to pay the bill to light some ball field). His letter also appeared in the JI.

    if this newly elected BOE member is now so concerned about how little money is spent on educational supplies and such, perhaps he should tell the Town officials to keep their tax dollars, and use that $$$ instead for Enfield school supplies. he should figure out a way to pay that little league electric bill and stop looking for Town subsidies. he should be asking for private donations, or put up some advertisement around the outfield like other towns do. and in turn, use that $ to help pay their electric bill!

    Anonymous said...

    > Who wrote this letter? Are they also an Enfield teacher? Can see where their loyalities lie.

    > this the same person who went to Enfield Town Council and got them to agree to pay for his little league's electric bill (so essentially the Town is using tax dollars to pay the bill to light some ball field).


    Talk about hypocrisy. Going to the Town Council to solicit funds for your private interest group, and then questioning why not enough funds on spent on school supplies. And how the schools need more $$$.

    Wanna bet a lot of school supplies could be purchased with the money
    "given" to this particular group.
    Town Council should think about that the next time this group's light bill comes in for payment.

    Anonymous said...

    "Enfield can't keep the businesses
    they've relied upon for years, let alone attract any new ones. Casual Corners, Legos, the number of empty storefronts in the Enfield Square, do I need to say more? "

    Get real. Casual Corner was retail and in trouble for a long time. Lego was in the same boat. The empty store fronts in the mall are because we have a tier c mall. With Buckland, Holyoke and Westfarms within 30 minutes, this mall can't support the normal retail. And their rents are way up (and they charge a portion of the sales as part of the rent).

    Business is up in Enfield over the past 3-4 years. MassMutual on both ends of time, Bernies' New England Hqtrs, Eppendorf, the Precision Camera expansion, more restaurants, and a new hotel soon. Lowe's has been looking in town but the land they want is not available. Costco (and 40 drug stores right?) too.

    Anonymous said...

    "Business is up in Enfield over the past 3-4 years. MassMutual on both ends of time, Bernies' New England Hqtrs, Eppendorf, the Precision Camera expansion, more restaurants, and a new hotel soon."

    Get real? Again, if things are so peachy keen in Enfield, why then are the Enfield residents shouldering the tax burden? Drive through the many industrial parks and count the number of For Sale or For Lease signs. Think its time you took off the blinders.

    Restaurants and hotels aren't gonna do much for Enfield since these businesses are dependent on folks disposable income. That's something most folks don't have much of these days. Did ya count the number of restaurants that have closed in the last few months?
    Three recently closed in the Square.

    & Lowes is looking @ East Windsor. So its likely Enfield lost out on that one.

    Anonymous said...

    >> The empty store fronts in the mall are because we have a tier c mall. With Buckland, Holyoke and Westfarms within 30 minutes, this mall can't support the normal retail. And their rents are way up

    Enfield's mall is a dinosaur. & its demise is just a matter of time. aside from Corrections presence, Enfield is nothin' more than a sprawling "retail center" and slowly, the retail is folding up. and once it does, so goes Enfield.

    Enfield residents should be prepared to pay more and more cuz businesses won't be shouldering tax blunt any time soon.

    Anonymous said...

    "Business is up in Enfield over the past 3-4 years. MassMutual on both ends of time, Bernies' New England Hqtrs,'

    that's right, what kind of deal did Council "give" to Bernies??

    if it wasn't for Cox moving into Bernies, don't many who would go there. last time I was there, the
    store was pretty sparse lookin'
    and salemen were just standing around. Rumor has it Best Buys isn't doing well either.

    Anonymous said...

    >> Get real. Casual Corner was retail and in trouble for a long time. Lego was in the same boat.

    and what's your explanation of Hallmarks downsizing? Cuz there's another long time Enfield biz
    that's hurting badly.

    Anonymous said...

    >>Business is up in Enfield over the past 3-4 years. MassMutual on both ends of time, Bernies' New England Hqtrs, Eppendorf, the Precision Camera expansion, more restaurants, and a new hotel soon."

    this warped posting must be from a Council member (they lurk on this blog). this "propaganda"
    is about as transparent as it gets.
    everyone knows businesses are down in Enfield. one only has to look @ their tax bill to be reminded of
    this fact.

    Anonymous said...

    "Business is up in Enfield over the past 3-4 years. MassMutual on both ends of time, Bernies' New England Hqtrs, Eppendorf, the Precision Camera expansion, more restaurants, and a new hotel soon. Lowe's has been looking in town but the land they want is not available. Costco (and 40 drug stores right?) too."

    The Feb 20th Courant reported that both Mass Mutual
    (http://www.courant.com/business/hc-bizdigbrf0220.art1feb20,0,1574115.story) and Legos
    (http://www.courant.com/business/hc-legoearns0220.artfeb20,0,4665830.story) posted gains.

    But does anyone really believe those gains will impact Enfield's tax base? Wake up. Enfield's residents will still see tax increases.

    Enfield's Legos workforce has
    be cut by almost 1/2 since 2006. So any Legos gains now aren't gonna do much for Enfield.

    Anonymous said...

    ""Business is up in Enfield over the past 3-4 years. MassMutual on both ends of time,""

    Maybe what the above poster meant to say, was that some businesses currently located in Enfield, are "up".

    But as was pointed out, just because some businesses in town have seen a gain, that doesn't translate into lesser taxes for Enfield residents. Wish it was that simple.

    Enfield is still hurting badly from the business mass exodus over the years. A few more eating establishments or a hotel or a drug store is not going to turn the property tax tide.

    Only thing these new drug stores are good for, is that resident can more easily find aspirin for all their headaches!

    Anonymous said...

    Come on people, we are asking for the wrong things. As taxpayers we need to demand more than just lower taxes. We need to demand a plan for fixing the issues we have in front of us, of which the tax rate is only one symptom.

    How do we open more land for growth? Are we zoned right in the favorable places for growth? Is T-ville an asset or a liability? Can our schools produce a 21st century, and global, workforce? Do we have the right tax incentives in place that can be used consistently and effectively? Can our infrastructure support new growth if we could get new growth? Where do we need to invest first?

    The Council is hanging their hat on a new train station. Is there a plan to develop the area around the train station to make it marketable for new business growth? No siree. That would take planning and an investment of money, neither of which will fly around here, no matter who sits in the majority.

    Anonymous said...

    According to today's JI, Town of Enfield has postponed their vote on tipper barrel program after the public hearing last night.
    http://www.journalinquirer.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=19312949&BRD=985&PAG=461&dept_id=569380&rfi=8

    Clearly Enfield officials haven't done all their homework yet re: this proposal. For one thing, these barrels are "wide open" so that anyone could throw anything into someone else's barrel. Who's going to police this? I for one don't wish to be fined cuz some pranksters think it funny now to toss glass or plastic bottle into my tipper barrel as it sits out on the road.

    Sounds like Enfield DPW will now need "trash police"!! That's one more union position to add to the ranks.

    As if its not bad enough that Enfield residents are being forced to spend $50 to buy a special tipper barrel (and these will now likely become a target of thiefs since they're worth $$$), but the Town is already looking to
    fine individuals.

    How about getting the program up and running first, before ya ponder penalizing residents for what's in their trash. Geez.

    Talk about "big boy government".
    Enough already.

    Anonymous said...

    Per today's JI article,

    "The proposed fines are $100 for the first violation and $500 for a second violation committed within five years, according to Deputy Director of Public Works Geoffrey McAlmond.

    During the hearing Tuesday, several residents said the fines were excessive. Thomas Walsh of Roseanne Street asked if he would be fined if another person were to put recyclable material in his tipper barrel.

    "It is a lot a money," Town Manager Matthew W. Coppler acknowledged. However, he said, town officials would investigate a violation before fining a resident.
    McAlmond added that the fines are meant for chronic violators and that residents have the option of disputing the fines before an appeals board."

    So basically now the Town of Enfield will need to create a new DPW bureaucracy to handle "recyclable crimes and fines"?

    Thought a benefit of the tipper barrel trucks, is that only person is needed to pick up trash, and they don't need to leave the trucks? Who then is poking through the trash to look for "trash offenses"?? Is there a "pre-trash pickup" screening?

    This whole project just gets more and more bizarre, and costly.

    Anonymous said...

    >Enfield "could" have one-man trucks, but there's no way the unions will sit back and watch people be replaced by these trucks.>

    Enfield already has some one man trucks. Just look around. I haven't heard a union complaint. This one can't be blamed on collective bargaining.

    Anonymous said...

    I've been away awhile and when I returned I had a couple of hours of reading to catch up on. I've been reading through the mountain of recent responses. Holy moly. Too bad this wouldn't happen at a council meeting on TV. More people need to know what opinions people have.

    I saw a couple of strange posts that no one picked up on. Tony Dipace will lead the Dem's party? A google shows all the controversy that's followed him. Are the Dems hard up or plain crazy? I vote crazy. Keep blogging alive!

    Anonymous said...

    >>>Enfield "could" have one-man trucks, but there's no way the unions will sit back and watch people be replaced by these trucks.>
    >
    >>Enfield already has some one man trucks. Just look around. I haven't heard a union complaint. This one can't be blamed on collective bargaining.

    if Enfield already has on-man trucks, will this person serve then as both the "trash police" and the
    "trash picker-upper"? Which means he/she indeed has to leave the truck and examine the trash before picking it up.

    Explain again how this scenario will save the Town time and $$$ in the long run?

    Anonymous said...

    The easiest indicator that doesn't involve getting out of the truck is whether or not they have a recycle bin out front.

    Maybe you all don't get it- but this is to get people who don't bother to recycle and try to dump the tipping fees caused by their laziness on everyone else.

    Anonymous said...

    ""The easiest indicator that doesn't involve getting out of the truck is whether or not they have a recycle bin out front.

    Maybe you all don't get it- but this is to get people who don't bother to recycle and try to dump the tipping fees caused by their laziness on everyone else.""

    Not having a recycle bin out each week, or every other week, doesn't mean that someone doesn't recycle.

    single homeowners or couples may simply not generate enough recycles to put out each week. ever think of that? so your assumption that a bin isn't out will lead to needless fining.

    ever hear of, "innocent until proven guilty"? the Town can't fine someone unless they have proof folks are dumping recycles in their trash barrels. you can't merely fine if the bin isn't out every week.

    Anonymous said...

    Happened to be home today, so saw first hand how Enfield trash haulers "do" their job. First, a truck came through to pick up the recycles. A guy had to pick up each of the blue recycle bins - there's no such thing as a "tipper recycle bin"? So they'll still have to pick up things manually.

    Later on, another trash truck came through. Truck went down middle of road. I witnessed one guy pick up
    a regular barrel, while the other guy on truck, attached a tipper barrel. the guy who picked up
    the regular barrel was done in 1/2 the time it took the guy handling the tipper barrel. Perhaps that
    was an isolated incident, but didn't look to me like the tipper barrel was a time saver.