RANGELEY — In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen approved Fire Chief Tim Pellerin’s request to purchase a used firetruck in good condition to replace firetruck No. 3 stationed in Oquossoc.
When the truck's brakes failed, the department found that parts to repair them were hard to find and expensive. The truck model is from the only year when Mack made brakes that were a hybrid of disk and drum. The only parts found so far cost $3,500.
Chief Pellerin said the truck also has a crack in the top of its water tank, and it did not pass last year’s pump test. If the truck is repaired, it could cost approximately $7,000. Pellerin has found a reserve truck in good shape in Virginia that was originally priced at $17,000 and was quoted to him at $8,000.
Echoing an earlier statement from Howard Lewis in the audience, Chief Pellerin explained how the Rangeley area could not do with fewer than four trucks, and suggested to the board that repairing the current truck would put good money into a bad project.
The board concurred and gave Pellerin their approval to purchase the Virginia truck, with funds from the capital reserve.
Pellerin also announced Fire Prevention Week will be observed this month, with Rangeley Fire and Rescue hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. The open house will be held at the department’s facilities in the Public Safety Building on 15 School St., where there will be food, tours of the station, equipment displays, demonstrations of apparatus and free fire safety information. The event will also tie in with the school’s safety program. Young students are invited to take part in several contests with prizes.
Also present with an update was Judy Morton from the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce, who said it had been a good summer for the area. She added that most local businesses have posted the best September they’ve had, with increases from 20 to 50 percent. She added that the Trail Town Fest, marking Rangeley’s designation as an Appalachian Trail Community was a success, despite inclement weather, and they hope to make it an annual event.
Morton noted there was a 50 percent increase in website visits, and the town’s Facebook page currently has 8,300 fans, 578 likes, and 174 shares of six posts.
Other upcoming events include Rangeley’s first Oktoberfest from Oct. 5-7; the Scarecrow Ball, organized by Sonja Johnson, from Oct. 7-13; and Small Business Saturday, planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
In other business, the board approved the relocation of power poles during the Carry Road construction and gave Town Manager Tim Kane permission to sign the contract for that construction, as well as the purchase agreement for the transfer station’s new compactor.
Before going into two executive sessions to discuss ongoing union contract proposals and the purchase of the Furbish Garden lot, Chairman Gary Schaeffer reminded everyone of the public meeting at 4 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Oquossoc Post Office to discuss the projected closing of that post office. He urged anyone with interest in keeping the post office open to attend.