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Penfield aims to privatize plow route

Penfield, N.Y. Penfields town operators could soon have a lighter load, but that's not what they want.

"I think it's the beginning of the end of our jobs," said Mike Nichols, a plow driver for the Penfield Department of Public Works.

A resolution that would award contract for snow and ice removal for residential roads and parking lots is on the agenda for the town board's meeting at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at Penfield Town Hall.

"In today's environment, everybody is looking for dollars and cents savings in government," said Tony LaFountain, town supervisor.

LaFountain added that the town has been using contractors for various jobs related to other departments.

Late Wednesday afternoon, 13WHAM News spoke with Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain about the projected savings of $2,000.

The town would save close to $2,000 largely on overtime expense by using a private contractor to plow one route for this winter season, according to LaFountain.

"Doesn't sound like a lot of money, but the days of pulling those big rabbits out of the hat, the $200,000 or half-a-million dollars dont exist," added LaFountain.

"It looks like the town is going to want to privatize the DPW someday," added Nicholas.

Penfield has 17 plow routes. The change would impact one for this year, according to LaFountain.

There are roughly 20 workers who operate plows, according to the town. Public works employees are part of the Civil Service Employees Association or CSEA.

It is the only town department represented by a union. There is no effort to eliminate DPW workers or the union, said LaFountain.

 
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