Several Announcements from Mayor Merchant

Good News! Let me start by letting you know that our new streetlights have arrived. We had a pre-construction meeting this week and the new lights will begin being installed the first week of February. So, as you read this you may have already noticed the new lights being installed. Depending on the weather they should all be changed by the end of March. We did have 168 lights in town that were not working and if any of them are located on your street they should be repaired and working as the crews complete your street. Our energy savings will begin as soon as the lights are changed. This project will save money each year but after the next 3 years we will save approximately 175 thousand dollars per year thereafter. It is always exciting when you get more and spend less.

Great job again this year by Linda Schnaars and her team in the Fire Marshals office putting the Fire Poster awards night for the 4th and 5th graders that were this year’s winners.

We are hard at work this time of year putting together a budget for the upcoming year. Most of our departments have put together their requests and have submitted them to our finance department. Our Grand List this year is still being calculated and should be ready soon. That is always the piece that we begin to work around once we know its value. It is always so difficult when it seems like every department has so many needs and requests; it is hard to say no when I can see that the needs are real. The longer that we neglect purchasing much needed equipment to replace aging equipment, the more it costs for repairs in the future. The Board of Education budget, which is approximately 60 percent of the town budget, also has needs each year and this year is no exception. They are looking to hire multiple personnel. I also have a huge concern when it comes to the State funding that we are expecting. We wont know what those numbers will be for another couple of months, and that could change everything. I’m sure you all remember what we went through when funding was taken from us. We will do the absolute best we can before we send it to the Board of Finance. Our mill rate is very important to me and I want to assure you once again that I am doing everything possible to control it. I will try to give you monthly updates.

If anyone would like to help and would be interested in serving on a board or commission, please feel free to email me or better yet stop in and we can have a discussion as to what might be a good fit for you. Volunteers are the backbone of this community.

Recently we took delivery on our brand-new Senior van. This van will be replacing our aging van that has become very costly to keep up with repairs. The van became possible through a grant and the great effort of Vinny Klimas and Heidi Caron. They were able to get the grant request to the state DOT on time. State grants require a lot of work before they can be submitted. This has been a project they have been working on for the past year or so. The van will be used to transport not only our seniors but also our citizens with disabilities. It is on the road every day. Thank you Vinnie and Heidi.

Great job again this year by Michael Ganem, our Parks and Rec director as we begin another busy year with the very popular Rec Basketball program.

The remediation portion of the old Mayfair Garage property on Main Street has been complete. By the time you read this, the equipment will have been removed and the fence down. It has taken almost 4 years to get this project through the maze that is involved with environmental issues. We worked very hard to receive the grant from DECD which paid for this project. We competed against hundreds of other towns and cities and it was very rewarding for me to have Plymouth score high enough to receive the grant. Having this project behind us is a huge upgrade to our downtown. This is part of our village district and it is now clean. My next goal is to put a business there that the town of Plymouth will support. I want to say again how important it is to support the businesses that we have now. They need your support to survive. Please, if you have a need and we have a business that can fill that need, give them your first consideration.

On the Economic development front, we continue to talk with companies that are looking to relocate. The two new buildings on Lassy Court are now up and Graham Tool has moved into their new home. I am very hopeful that in the next month or so we will have some very exciting news to share.

What seems like constant rain this year has created many issues for all of us. Our Public works department is doing everything they can to keep up with the many water issues. The ground is saturated and there is no place for additional water to go. If you have a storm drain near your home, it would be a really big help if you were able to keep it clear of debris. Also, we could use your help keeping sidewalks and hydrants clear after storms.