In September, would be his top priority if elected to a fourth term.
Three months into his fourth term, it appears he is keeping his promise.
Tuesday night, the Board of Selectmen approved an agreement with East Lyme to regionalize The deal, which still needs to be approved by the East Lyme Board of Selectmen and Waterford’s Representative Town Meeting, was worked out between Steward and East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica.
“We think it is a benefit to both communities,” Steward said.
The deal would bring four East Lyme dispatchers to Waterford’s according to Steward. The dispatchers would cover all fire and emergency calls for East Lyme, although not police calls, Steward said.
Why It Could Save Money
This agreement makes dispatch more efficient for both towns, and the state will give both Waterford and East Lyme money to do it, Steward said. East Lyme will save money because it saves on overhead for four dispatchers, and Waterford will save money from overtime, he said.
Waterford has nine full-time dispatchers, which is enough to have two people on at all times, which is required, Steward said. The problem is, when people take sick time or vacation or whatever else, the town has to pay overtime to fill that slot, he said.
Now, East Lyme will bring in four more full-time dispatchers, so three people will be on most of the time, Steward said. Then, if somebody calls out or goes on vacation, two people will still be on so overtime won't be necessary, he said.
Additionally, the state is offering incentives to communities to regionalize its dispatch centers. So, Waterford will receive roughly $100,000 annually from the state if this agreement is approved, Steward said.
The Board of Selectmen approved the agreement unanimously. Finance Director Rudie Beers and Board of Finance member J.W. “Bill” Sheehan, who were both at the meeting, both said it was a good idea.
“I think this is great,” Sheehan said.
New London Next?
about regionalizing its dispatch as well. Steward said he hopes to talk with New London Fire Chief Ron Samul, Police Chief Margaret Ackley and Mayor Daryl Finizio to work out a deal.