Consultants hired by the Town Council had a laundry list of recommendations for the Watertown Department of Public Works, including adding staff, modernizing the department and making a to-do list.
A report from the Collins Center for Public Management at UMass-Boston called for the department to make a number of changes. The study found that the department focuses more on what needs to be done on a given day, rather than planning for down the line, said, Rob Haley, an associate with the Collins Center. He said that is common with other public works departments he has studied.
One upgrade was to use a computer management system to set out what each division of the DPW should do and if it is not completed, why not, Haley said.
"A recurring theme in the department is there is not a lot of good documentation of what's going on in the field," Haley said.
To keep track of what work is being done he recommended the department buy and install a computerized maintenance and management system, which costs between $15,000 and $30,000, Haley said.
The department should modernize its fleet of vehicles, he added. The average age of vehicles is 10 years old.
A number of vacancies should be filled, Haley said, including hiring a Town Engineer, filling two openings in the highway division, and adding 1.7 mechanic positions (equivalent of full-time employees) in the maintenance garage.
The department also has an opening for a deputy superintendent. The study recommends replacing that job with a director of administration and finance, said Monica Lamboy, an associate with the Collins Center. The new position would help with planning and tracking expenses.
Before any recommendations become a reality, the Town Council's Public Works Committee will examine the report.
Public Works Superintendent Gerald Mee said he looks forward to reviewing the study with the Town Council.
"I certainly look forward to discussion we will have at the subcommittee and addressing every one of the comments," Mee said.