Dover-Foxcroft selectmen approve $257,000 fire truck purchase

Posted Oct. 23, 2013, at 11:08 a.m.
Last modified Oct. 24, 2013, at 10:05 p.m.
Dover-Foxcroft Town Manager Jack Clukey
Dover-Foxcroft Town Manager Jack Clukey

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — After being presented with a proposal from the Fire Department for a new pumper truck to replace a 1989 model, selectmen gave their approval to the purchase of the new truck during an Oct. 14 meeting.

“The protection committee last week heard a presentation from the Fire Department for the replacement of a 1989 pumper,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said. “The committee talked about it and wanted to bring the discussion to the full board and talk about it some more.”

Protection committee member Gail D’Agostino added that they felt, because of the large expenditure, they wanted all of the selectmen to have a say during the preliminary discussions.

The pumper truck is composed of a body new from the factory in 2013, built on a 2011 chassis. The cost from K&T Fire Equipment in Island Falls is $257,000. The Fire Department proposed to the selectmen that $75,000 set aside in an account for a new truck be used as a down payment and the remainder of the price be financed over seven years — which equals a figure of $29,955 annually in the department capital budget from the 2015 to 2022 fiscal years.

Fire Chief Joe Guyotte said the 2-year-old chassis lowered the truck cost from the $400,000 range to $257,000 and the price was reduced further with the vehicle having been previously used as a demo model.

“If you wait 10 years you’re going to spend $400,000 on the same truck,” he said. “We’re trying to keep it within budget, so we don’t have to go out and buy a Cadillac.”

Guyotte added that under the seven-year payment plan, about $14,500 in funds will remain in the budget for turnout gear and air packs.

The firetruck will have the ability to spray foam, something that cannot be done with the existing Dover-Foxcroft fire vehicles, and Guyotte said the chassis provides rollover protection for the six-man cab in the event of an accident.

“We’re just up here to try to make the best decision and it has nothing to do with the quality of your work,” Vice Chairman Cindy Freeman Cyr said about the board’s discussions on whether to proceed with the firetruck purchase. She said the members of the Fire Department serve the community on a volunteer basis.

In other business, the selectmen signed the warrant for the special town meeting referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 5 — the polls at the Morton Avenue Municipal Building will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The warrant will include an article asking if voters will adopt amendments to the town’s land use ordinance pertaining to signs.

“Mostly it pertains to where LED signs would be allowed,” Clukey said. “For most of the main corridors LED signs would be allowed.”

He said the amendments provide standards for sign size and accompanying landscaping along with “a lot of performance-based standards that aren’t there now.”

In addition to the five state bond questions on Nov. 5, Dover-Foxcroft residents also will vote on a RSU 68 board vacancy. Former school board member Chris Maas is the only candidate listed on the ballot for the term through June 30, 2015, and residents can choose to have a write-in option for the seat.

In his town manager’s report, Clukey wrote that public works is winding down the dump road project and will then be starting on Atkinson Road. He said a round of interviews has been conducted for the Police Department patrol officer position, and a candidate is expected to be brought forward at the next selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12 (a day later on account of Veterans Day).

Clukey’s report also said the balloon festival committee has an agreement with the Piscataquis Valley Fair Association for 2014’s second annual event to take place at the fairgrounds. The new location will provide for more room during the event on May 30 and June 1.

A question from the audience asked about the status of a centrally-located sign to inform of town events. Clukey said he is in the midst of looking at prices for electronic signs to serve this purpose.

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