Roxbury board trying to resolve air pack concerns with Fire Department

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NEWRY — Selectmen are trying to determine why Roxbury’s firetruck has only had one working air pack for the past three months.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, they decided to either have fire Chief Ray Carver contact board Chairman John Sutton and explain the problem or schedule a meeting between the board and Carver.

“To me, that’s unacceptable to have them not working,” Selectman Tim Derouche said.

Sutton said the department should have a minimum of three working air packs even though Roxbury only has two firefighters who are trained to enter burning buildings and it takes a minimum of three firefighters with air packs to enter burning buildings.

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Selectman Mike Worthley, also a Roxbury firefighter, said he was told that the non-working air packs are being serviced and should be ready soon. Firefighter Matthew Patneaude said there were originally four air packs on the firetruck.

Sutton said the issue of non-working air packs is “a big problem” that needs to be resolved.

Worthley said a Roxbury firetruck could arrive at a burning building and three firefighters from Rumford could show up in their personal vehicles, but nobody could enter the building to rescue trapped occupants without working air packs.

“It sounds like something has gotten very overlooked,” Derouche said.

In other business, Worthley said the Maine Cardiovascular Health Council and MCD Public Health got a federal grant to buy and place automated external defibrillators in eligible rural areas. This includes training first responders and the public how to properly use the life-saving devices.

He said he got an application from Med-Care Ambulance in Mexico to apply for one for the Roxbury Town Office. Worthley said the town already has one on the town firetruck and there would be no cost for a second one other than batteries and pads.

Derouche told him to apply for it on behalf of the town.

Renee Hodsdon, deputy town clerk, tax collector and treasurer, told the board that she had sent 30- to 45-day foreclosure notices to five property owners who owe from $122.69 to $1,074.55 in taxes. When asked what the town’s next step is, Hodsdon said, “We wait.”

Chairman Sutton clarified, saying, “We hope we get payment.”

The board also voted unanimously to accept new General Assistance appendices following an earlier public hearing that was only attended by selectmen and Town Clerk Nina Hodgkins.

Code Enforcement Officer Robert Folsom Sr. reported that he has found three properties that don’t have septic systems installed and has written four draft letters to send to people who have raised camps without getting permits. He said he also found that someone built an addition to a deck that is in the Shoreland Zone and a camp that was moved in without a permit and a barrel placed in the ground for septic waste.

Sutton read into the record a list of complaints about early-morning ice on town roads on Dec. 4 and asked to have the plowing and sanding contractor attend the board’s next meeting. He said he also learned that one resident got sand from the town stockpile and spread it at the Roxbury Post Office lot. Derouche said that shouldn’t be done because the post office is a business and can hire its own contractor to spread sand on its lot.

Selectmen also learned that a Wells Fargo real estate firm wants to donate the old store building at 1881 Roxbury Road to the town.

Worthley, who is president of the Roxbury ATV Riders Club, suggested leasing it to the club for use as a clubhouse. He said it should first be checked to learn if someone has stolen its copper piping. 

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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