Town creates Public Works department
by Ali Drake
As it continues to grow, the town of Indian Trail finds itself in need of a Public Works department.
“(This will) save money and be more efficient by bringing services in-house,” Indian Trail Town Manager Joe Fivas said.
During their Tuesday, July 12 meeting, the Town Council unanimously voted to approve the purchase of a Skid Steer Loader and a Mini-Hydraulic Excavator. These pieces of equipment will be used by the newly created Public Works Department to handle the community’s outdoor maintenance.
“We have a number of Public Works projects that need to be done,” Fivas said.
Fivas pointed to efficiency as the main reason for the new Public Works Department. The project has been in development since March, when it was put into Indian Trail’s budget. Fivas said creating the department will allow beautification projects to be undertaken by the town staff as soon as they are identified.
“This didn’t bring on a tax increase or anything else—this was built into the budget,” Town Council Member Darlene Luther said. “If we want economic development to come to Indian Trail you have to make them want to come to Indian Trail.”
Previously, when there have been problems with storm water, sidewalks, fallen trees, mowing, or even just standard maintenance on the new local park, residents have had to wait while the Town Council approved individual projects and contracted out to resolve the issue.
“Now we’ll have the ability to react to residents in our community,” Fivas said.
The Town Council decision to add Public Works was based on a recommendation by the town manager and town staff, Luther said.
“They see the day to day and we trust them when they say this is what’s best for Indian Trail,” Luther said. “We hired them to make those decisions.”
Luther also explained that for a town as large as Indian Trail, “we have a fraction of what other communities have,” as far a the number of staff. She said the main argument against expanding the Public Works Department is the hiring of more government employees, but, “I feel that it is necessary to add a couple of people and equipment to maintain our town the way it should be.”
The new department is still accepting resumes for four positions: two Laborers, an Equipment operator, and a Public Works Superintendent. The positions will begin in August.