Bidder given more time

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FARMINGTON – Selectmen voted Tuesday night to extend a purchase agreement with a Pennsylvania fire department that won the bidding contest for Farmington’s 1988 ladder truck earlier this month.

Selectmen and fire department members in Livermore Falls, who also bid on the truck, had hoped to convince Farmington’s board to give the town another chance at the truck.

The board awarded the truck to the Greenock Volunteer Fire Co., from Greenock, Pa., earlier this month on the condition payment be received on March 22 – the day the town expects its new $850,000 pumper/ladder truck to be delivered. Greenock’s bid was the highest, Town Manager Richard Davis said – $118,000 – which after paying a broker’s fee would yield $113,000.

Livermore Falls bid $105,000.

But Greenock’s bid was contingent upon the sale of its current ladder truck, as well as on the department’s inspection of Farmington’s truck. And, when selectmen voted to give Greenock seven days to say yes or no to the purchase and until March 22 to pay up, they got a letter in response requesting a 30-day extension.

Greenock needs to secure a short-term loan to pay for the truck until the fire company is able to sell its truck, Richard Davis explained.

Livermore Falls Selectman Bill Demaray and Assistant Fire Chief Jim LeClerc attended Tuesday night’s meeting with the hope selectmen here would decide to rethink accepting Greenock’s bid. Livermore Falls has already raised the requisite funds, Demaray said, and never put conditions on its bid. The town would take Farmington’s truck as is. Farmington would also continue to benefit from it, under the local mutual-aid agreement, Demaray said.

“You guys know how bad we want that truck,” LeClerc said, “and how much we could help you.” But Farmington’s board voted unanimously to give the Greenock fire company the extension, saying that taking the highest bid was in best interest of Farmington’s taxpayers.

“It’s a difference of $8,280,” Davis said.

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