More than 70 people want to run the town’s new Department of Public Facilities, which will be responsible for all town-owned buildings.
The 72 applicants for the director’s position come from as far away as California and Georgia, according to Town Administrator Kevin Mearn. The town committee screening the applicants met this week to winnow the number down to about 17, who will be formally interviewed, he said.
Town Meeting set aside $110,000 to pay for a director for the new department, as well as $25,000 for a study of all town-owned structures.
The new department would clean, maintain, landscape, repair, and plan capital improvements for all the town’s properties, which are now the responsibility of each separate municipal department and the schools.
The hope is that by consolidating all building-related matters in one spot, the town will save money, Mearn said. The idea was first suggested in 2004.
“This would bring an expert in who knows buildings, knows how to maintain buildings, knows the life span of something like a roof,” Mearn said. Instead of waiting until things become emergencies, the town could plan its building-related work, he said.
The new department head would report jointly to the town administrator and school superintendent.
Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.