TICONDEROGA - Voters have made it clear they do not want a department of public works in Ticonderoga, but the town board is still taking steps to consolidate operations and save money.
The Ti town board voted to merge the water and sewer departments at its January meeting.
"It's an efficiency and cost-saving measure," Supervisor Deb Malaney said. "Instead of two departments, now we'll have just one that can share employees, equipment and materials."
The town board had hoped to merge the highway, water and sewer departments into a single department of public works with an appointed director. That plan failed when voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure to eliminate the elected highway superintendent's position.
The new water and sewer department will be led by Tracy Smith. Smith has been the chief of the sewer department for years.
Derek Fleury, a long-time water department employee, has been named deputy head of the combined department.
Keith O'Connor, who had been head of the water department, has retired.
The new department has eight employees. There are no plans to hire someone to replace the retired O'Connor, Malaney said.
"We're going to do more with less," Malaney said. "These are difficult times. We have to tighten our belts."