Public works says more staff needed to meet service demands

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A public works department in Vermont says it’s seeking more staff to reduce stress and massive overtime claims, particularly in winter.

The Times Argus reports Montpelier’s department asked the City Council to hire at least one more full-time employee.

Public works director Donna Barlow Casey told councilors Wednesday that last winter’s overtime demands exceeded 3,700 hours and doubled the budget to more than $120,000.

Department officials say staffing issues led to summer street maintenance delays as workers postponed vacation time to meet winter demands.

The council has said an expected 25% increase in health costs next year exceeds what it’s willing to approve, unless other services are cut.

Officials said last winter was the worst in nine years with nearly 120 inches (304.8 centimeters) of snow, heavy rain and freezing temperatures.

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