LIVERMORE — The Board of Selectpersons heard a presentation Monday on truck-purchase options, but held off from making a decision until further information is available.
The town’s plow truck was damaged during a snowstorm last winter.
At the annual town meeting, voters approved using $40,050 from the insurance payout and $10,550 from the sale of the damaged truck for a new truck and plow system. The total estimated cost for the new truck and equipment: $178,000.
The town has traditionally used general obligation bonds, with an annual payment over a five-year period. This year, a lease option was offered.
The board had discussed the truck purchase at their June 25 meeting, but wanted more information on the lease option.
Administrative Assistant Amy Byron had said a lease through Androscoggin Bank would be cheaper because attorney fees would be lower. The town could own the truck with a $1 payment at the end of the lease.
At Monday’s meeting, Lena Hann of Androscoggin Savings Bank said leases have grown popular, and that there are many payment options.
“When borrowing more than $100,000, you need an attorney’s opinion.” Hann said. “There’s a savings of about $1,000 in attorney’s fees on the transaction.”
She said there is more flexibility with a lease. Payments can be arranged when the town is most flush with tax dollars.
Selectperson Tom Gould asked about the $1 buyback at the end of the lease.
Hann said it is a legal technicality.
Selectperson Ben Guild asked if interest rates were higher or lower for a lease.
Hann said the rates are about the same. The lease does not go off prime.
“The quicker you pay it off, the less interest,” Hann said. “You can schedule payments. We can take money earlier and apply it to the principal.”
Byron said the lease would require about half the amount normally spent on interest.
Gould asked if a lease could be used to purchase the plow and plow gear.
Because the truck and equipment were being purchased from two different vendors, Hann said she would have to ask. She would email the answer to Byron.
“It seems like there is no downside to the lease,” Gould said.
In other matters, the board accepted the resignation of highway worker Ben Campbell. He was hired in December 2015, and gave his notice July 3. His final day was July 6.
At the Livermore selectpersons meeting Monday, Lena Hann of Androscoggin Savings Bank shares information on the differences between leasing and using a general obligation bond to acquire a new truck and plow system. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)