, Salem, MA

March 3, 2014

Hamilton and Wenham to combine some public works functions

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff Writer

---- — The towns of Hamilton and Wenham are moving forward with options for combining certain public works functions after receiving a $90,000 state grant.

Wenham Town Administrator Mark Andrews said the grant allows the two towns to implement aspects of a study looking into combining the services. While a full report from the Collins Center for Public Management provides options for all public works, the towns still need to decide what will be combined.

The plan right now calls for merging the facilities and infrastructure functions of both towns and the regional school department.

“We are going to be buying hardware, software and IT support to link the three entities with the $90,000 grant,” Andrews said.

The $90,000 grant came from the state’s Community Innovation Challenge, which encourages regionalization. Last year, the towns were awarded $30,000 to hire the Collins Center.

Ken Whittaker, chairman of the Wenham Board of Selectmen, said this will be the first public facilities and infrastructure department in the state.

“The towns of Hamilton and Wenham have a rich history of sharing precious municipal resources,” he said.

Wenham Selectman Patrick Wilson said the move will save the town money.

“The school district and the towns are committed to moving forward to design and implement a new paradigm from the management of all public facilities, infrastructure, ground maintenance, including routine and preventative building maintenance, capital repairs and overall infrastructure improvements,” he said.

Wenham selectmen will hear a presentation of the full report on Tuesday night.