STRONG — Selectmen have agreed to make changes to the town’s banking practices.
Selectmen finalized a review Tuesday night of the town’s banking expenses, interest rates and services.
The 1.50 percent interest rate that Franklin Savings Bank offered beat Bangor Savings Bank’s offer of 1.15 percent. Services are similar and the change would take effect at the beginning of 2019.
Selectman Mike Pond encouraged the other selectmen to support the proposal.
“It only makes sense to me to change,” Pond said. “We don’t have to pay any fees or dues.”
Pond also noted the town’s TD Bank CD account earns only 1.75 percent interest. That money would earn 2.45 percent interest if it were transferred to Franklin Savings Bank.
In a 3-2 vote, selectmen approved the change. A Franklin Savings Bank employee will help Town Treasurer Sandra Mitchell and Town Clerk Betsy DuBois with the changes.
In other matters, selectmen at their last meeting agreed to buy uniforms for the highway department. Duayne Boyd, the department foreman, was not at that meeting because he was plowing town roads during a snowstorm.
On Tuesday, Boyd reviewed the vote and asked selectmen to reconsider using a service company that would launder the uniforms.
He said some of the work performed by the highway department requires Boyd and department employee Eddie Adams work with greasy and oily equipment. He said it would be unfair to expect them to take greasy uniforms home to be washed.
Boyd said if the highway department did not do some of that “greasy” work, the town would have to hire others to do it. This prompted selectmen to debate their previous decision to buy uniforms.
“If you bought uniforms rather than using a service, you’re paying about $500 more a year,” Selectman Mike Pond said.
UniFirst Uniforms costs $35 per week for cleaning and supplying work clothing for the department. The annual $1,820 fee includes cleaning rags.
Selectmen also reviewed the lack of part-time help available to do the extra plowing during winter months. Several of the former seasonal workers are not available so removal of the early winter snow has proved challenging.