LIVERMORE — Selectpersons voted 3-2 to ask residents for $170,000 to buy a new truck and snowplow.
Chairman Mark Chretien and Selectpersons Timothy Kachnovich and Wayne Timberlake voted in favor; Megan Dion and Tom Gould opposed.
Highway Foreman Roger Ferland said he received an estimate of $112,000 from O’Connor Trucks in Portland for new 2017 Volvo cab and chassis, with $16,000 trade-in for the town’s GMC truck.
HP Fairfield of Skowhegan offered the plow setup and body for $74,000.
Ferland said the purchase would be put out to bid.
The town owns five plow trucks: a 2007 International, a 2010 International, a 2012 Volvo, a 2008 GMC and a 2016 Ford F550.
Gould and Dion favored purchasing a used truck.
“We’re asking a lot of money for the truck,” Gould said. “Hard times are coming.”
Gould said he spoke with people from a crane company operating a fleet of 19 trucks.
“They never buy new,” he said. “They run their trucks hard. We don’t put the mileage on that a private business would. We’re losing a huge percentage when we drive a new truck off the lot.”
Dion said a used truck could be set up any way the town wanted and be better than a new one.
“You don’t always know what you’re getting with a new truck,” Dion said.
Chretien said $74,000 is needed just for the plow and dump body.
“You won’t find used plow gear,” Chretien said.
Kachnovich said the town lacks in-house mechanics, a garage and computers to work on trucks.
Chretien said it would be different if the town had a mechanic.
“Paying $75 to $125 per hour adds up quickly,” Chretien said, referring to mechanics.
Timberlake said initial depreciation isn’t a valid argument because the town won’t be selling the truck in a few years.
“If we buy a five- or six-year-old truck, we’ll have two due for replacement at about the same time,” Timberlake said.
Budget Committee Chairman Brenda Merrill said the town needs to keep trucks as long as it can and needs dependable vehicles.
Kachnovich said crane trucks don’t face the same conditions as plow trucks.
“Plow trucks are out in salt and sand all the time in the worst time to be on the roads,” Kachnovich said.
Dion said that wastes a new truck.
Ferland said he would consider used equipment, but not a truck.
Kachnovich said the board has to research and be ready to present selling points to voters at the annual town meeting June 14.