County Highway Department to become a Department of Public Works

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 October 2019 at 9:17 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County Highway Department, which includes the Buildings and Grounds Department, will have its name dissolved and will become a Department of Public Works.

The County Legislature will have a public hearing on the change at 4:20 p.m. on Nov. 20. The county needs to adopt a local law to change the name of the department.

The proposal also includes changing the title of the highway superintendent to the superintendent of the Department of Public Works.

The Highway Department and Building and Grounds used to be separate with their own department heads. About a decade ago the Buildings and Grounds was moved to be under the Highway Department, under the direction of the highway superintendent.

The Legislature appointed a new highway superintendent on March 27, following the retirement of Jerry Gray. John Papponetti, the new highway leader, has suggested the Highway and Buildings and Grounds become a Department of Public Works.

That is how the highway staffs are known in the local villages. The towns in Orleans County all call them “Highway Departments.”

With the town highway departments, the superintendents are all elected. The DPW leaders are all appointed by the Village Boards. At the county level, the position is made by appointment of the County Legislature.

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