What’s new on the plateau


Patrick Taylor Highlands Mayor

The town budget was passed at last Thursday’s Highlands Town Board meeting.  There are several capital items that folks will notice in the coming months.  

Sometime this fall new street paving projects will get underway. Spring Street and Sherwood Forest Road will be paved.  Upper Lake and Lower Lake Roads are currently unpaved.  They will be paved also.  There will be no right of way issues since the paving will only cover the existing roadbed. No widening will be done.

The budget includes two sidewalk projects.  A new sidewalk will be installed between the Wells Hotel and the new subdivision development across from the ball field. The developer was required to install a sidewalk in front of the subdivision as a part of the town sidewalk plan.  This new sidewalk connects the existing sidewalk to the newly built subdivision sidewalk.  There will also be improvements made to the sidewalk in front of the Highlands Presbyterian Church.  The understructure of that section of sidewalk has been degrading for a number of years. 

A major budget item will be the improvement of a waterline on Moorewood Road.  A deadend section of a two inch galvanized line will be replaced with a 6 inch ductile iron line that will be  connected to an existing major line in order to form a continuous flow in that area.  The new waterline will cost $670,000 and will improve fire protection.  The project will probably get underway in the fall.  It will cause disruption of vegetation on the roadside since substantial excavation will be required.

A generator will be installed at the Little Bear Pen pump station for $75,000.  This new generator will insure continuous operation of the station should a major power failure hit the town.

At the water treatment plant a new high service replacement pump with variable flow devices will be installed.  This pump will insure continuous service to the town should there be a major waterline break.  The town is spending a total of $885,000 for improvements to the water treatment plant this coming year.  We will be making ongoing upgrades and improvements at the water plant for years to come.

At the wastewater treatment plant a number of maintenance and upgrades will be made.  A UV light system is a critical component of treating wastewater without the use of chemicals. The repair of the unit and replacement of lights will cost $12,000.  The tank cleaning costs for this year is $61,000.

In the electric department a new bucket truck will cost $251,000.  Also, we will be upgrading street lights with new LED lights that can be adjusted for intensity levels.  The new LED ball field light system will cost the town $137,500.  The county is partnering with us by also contributing $137,500 which is half of the total cost. I appreciate the county supporting this project that will improve lighting for the field and at the same time reduce light spillover into the surrounding neighborhoods.

The new budget year begins July 1.