Pa. fire co. outbids Livermore Falls for ’88 ladder truck

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FARMINGTON – The town received two bids on the 1988 ladder truck with one arriving from out-of-state by UPS about noon Friday.

At 2 p.m. the bids were opened.

The town of Livermore Falls bid $105,000 and the Greenock Volunteer Fire Co. of Greenock, Pa. bid $118,000.

The latter’s bid was conditional pending representatives have 60 days to get to Farmington to inspect the truck and its maintenance and repair history, and that payment depended on the company selling its ladder truck. It also has to have a vote of those members, said Farmington Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell.

Farmington’s selectmen will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, at the municipal building to decide which bid they will accept.

Farmington has to also pay a 4 percent broker’s fee for the sale, which brings the money that would come to the town to about $113,000, both Bell and Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis said.

The company’s conditions were not unreasonable, Davis said.

Only one concerned him, he said, and he will recommend selectmen make March 21 the date of when the town needs the payment. That is when Farmington is expecting its new truck to arrive, he said.

Bell talked to a representative of the fire company, Davis said, and that person believes there will be no problem paying for the truck by March 21.

Livermore Falls Fire Chief Ken Jones was disappointed Friday that the town was the low bidder. He had rallied townspeople to put a $130,000 in bid pool for the E-One aerial and rejecting the town’s Budget Committee’s recommendation not to bid on any ladder truck.

“If the truck doesn’t come to Livermore Falls, we missed a deal of a lifetime,” Jones said.

Livermore Falls selectmen had met in executive session Wednesday with Jones to discuss a bid.

Livermore Falls Selectman Bill Demaray said the board agreed to put in what they thought was a fair bid of $105,000 with the stipulation if the chief went up and inspected the truck again and thought it was worth more or felt another bid was necessary, then one could be made. There had been no bids as of Wednesday.

It was determined at the town meeting that “we could go up to $130,000,” Demaray said.

The board was trying to do what was best for the town and buy the truck with the least amount of money for the taxpayers, he said.

“If we got it, we would have been gods; now we’re devils,” Demaray said. “Something sneaked in at the very last minute.”

Bell said the second bid arrived at the municipal building just after noon by way of a UPS truck.

If Farmington selectmen accept the offer of the other bidder, Demaray said, then selectmen will meet and discuss the next step. It could be the board will decide to go to town meeting and ask townspeople to put the money in reserve for a truck, he said.

Livermore Falls Town Manager Martin Puckett declined comment on the bids and deferred questions to board Chairwoman Julie Deschesne.

The consensus of the board with the chief in attendance was to put in a $105,000 bid, Deschesne said.

Livermore Falls resident Denise Rodzen said she understood at the special town meeting Tuesday, where voters agreed to increase the $100,000 already in the pool by $30,000, that it gave selectmen the authority to bid up to $130,000 and that the board would meet and decide wisely how to spend that money to purchase the truck.

“My philosophy is if it was meant to be, it would have happened,” Rodzen said.

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