MEXICO — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Tuesday evening for an article asking voters to approve a reduction of the Fire Department Reserve fund in order to offset the annual cost of buying a new firetruck.
The measure will be on the annual town meeting ballot in June.
Town Manager John Madigan said the Fire Department was looking to purchase a newer firetruck from the Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus company in Alabama.
The 2002 E-One Cyclone Custom Pumper would cost $169,000.
Since the department is planning to trade their pumper and ladder truck, $50,000 would be subtracted from that total, making the net cost $119,000.
Madigan said that in order to purchase the firetruck as soon as possible, the town would have to borrow money, which would increase the town's debt. However, he explained that they would reduce the annual cost of the firetruck by reducing the Fire Department Reserve fund each year.
“The cost of our annual payment for the firetruck would be offset by reduction in the Fire Department Reserve funds,” he said. “The impact to the budget wouldn't be any more than it is right now. We would be able to pick up the truck now instead of waiting five or six or seven years to save up the money.”
The board lauded fire Chief Gary Wentzell's efforts in finding the firetruck.
“Sounds like the cat's meow,” Selectman Byron Ouellette said. “Sounds like a heck of a deal.”
“Gary said that this truck should last us long after he retires,” Madigan said.
In other business, the board agreed to meet with the Rumford Board of Selectmen at 7 p.m. April 17 at the Mexico Town Hall to discuss consolidation issues.
“As the budgets get tighter and tighter, consolidation becomes a bigger topic,” Madigan said Wednesday afternoon. “The Rumford board already brought this issue up at their last meeting. We'll talk with each other about ways we might be able to share with one another.”
Madigan said the board also agreed to hold a public hearing April 23 on extending the moratorium on developing new mobile home parks or expanding existing ones for an additional 180 days.
The moratorium was approved last November due to outdated documents and numerous complaints from residents about the health, safety and appearance of some parks. At the time, Madigan explained that if a revised mobile home ordinance was not drafted within 180 days, selectmen could vote to extend the moratorium for an additional 180 days.