Hampden council revamps vehicle purchase policy, nixes budget resolution

Posted April 01, 2013, at 11:39 p.m.

HAMPDEN, Maine — The first item on Monday night’s Hampden Town Council agenda, a proposal to write and deliver a resolution against Gov. Paul LePage’s biennial state budget plan, took the most time to discuss, but in the end councilors voted unanimously to take no action on it.

Or did they?

About 20 minutes after voting 6-0 not to write and publish a resolution against the state budget proposal, the council voted 6-0 to adopt an executive summary of key points and facts explaining how badly the proposals could hurt Hampden’s revenue stream and increase taxes, make 13 copies of it, and have Rep. Brian Duprey, R-Hampden, personally hand them to the members of Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs as they evaluate budget proposals.

“I think this will have far more impact than any resolution you could do,” Duprey told the councilors.

It was a night of very little disagreement, as the councilors also voted unanimously to approve the adoption of guidelines encouraging purchases of SUVs rather than sedans and cars for the police department.

“They have so much gear in the vehicles now, that it’s much more comfortable than in a sedan, and they are also much more able to reach various areas in all weather and terrain,” said Councilor Thomas Brann.

“They also most often wind up with superior mileage figures over sedans,” said Town Manager Susan Lessard.

Councilors also voted 6-0 to sell a 1955 Jeep brush truck originally acquired from the Brunswick Naval Air Station in 1978. Lessard did some research to find out that the town is under no legal obligation to keep the gifted vehicle and can sell it and keep the proceeds.

Further proposals for redevelopment of the old Hampden Academy were heard, but in executive session due to the personal financial information and real estate figures discussed.

In other action, councilors voted to:

• Maintain the town’s right to issue alewives harvesting licenses even though Hampden is one of the areas prohibited from alewive fishing until an environmental study is completed.

• Approve a request for a letter of support for establishing the geospatial data reserve fund via LD 877.

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