DEXTER, Maine — The Town Council was not convinced Thursday that this is the time to purchase a new firetruck.
Rather than wait until 2012 as scheduled, firefighters had recommended the town purchase a new tanker now to replace a 1985 International tanker, which is not pumping at capacity.
Firefighter Rick Sawyer told the council Thursday that new emission changes will take place next year for diesel engines, which could increase the costs of a new truck. The cost of a new tanker this year would be about $275,000 compared with $290,000 next year or $327,000 in 2012 when the changes kick in, he said.
Sawyer also noted that the emission changes will result in cabs that are six to eight inches higher than current firetrucks, which would be too high for the station’s doors. He said it would cost about $10,000 to renovate the doors if the truck were purchased in 2012.
Older trucks are grandfathered from the new standards, the council was told.
The possibility exists that the town could get a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant or loan for the tanker’s purchase, Sawyer said. If the town qualified, a major portion of the loan would be forgiven, he said.
Moving the replacement schedule up by three years bothered Councilor Sherman Leighton. He said the economic times are too difficult now to shift more taxes on local landowners, unless firefighters could secure other public or private funding.
The council also was not persuaded to allow all-terrain vehicles the use of the Pullen and Carr roads. The request was made last month by the Exeter Explorers ATV Club. The move would have allowed the club to link Dexter to the Corinna and Corinth all-terrain vehicle trails. Landowners along Pullen Road spoke against the proposal last month.
Town Manager David Pearson told the council that a power outage caused by a squirrel last month did about $1,000 in damage to the town’s computer system. He told the council he had filed a claim with Central Maine Power Co. for reimbursement, and he also had notified the town’s insurance carrier.
Pearson also noted the town report for year ending June 20, 2008, is available. The lengthy delay in getting it out was caused by the town’s auditing firm Horton, McFarland and Veysey of Ellsworth, he said.
In relation to that, the council changed auditors, choosing on Thursday to accept a three-year contract with Brantner, Thibodeau & Associates for $9,460.