WATERFORD – A total of 5,000 gallons of fuel oil has been set aside from the amount purchased by SAD 17 to go to the town of Waterford this winter.

When the school district locked in its fuel oil price of $1.97 per gallon, it asked oil company C.N. Brown to offer the eight towns in the district a chance to take advantage of the low price. They also asked that the SAD 39 schools in Sumner and Buckfield be included in the offer.

Towns traditionally “piggy-back” on the school district’s fuel oil purchase agreement. Because of delivery costs and the fact that towns generally get their oil in smaller deliveries than the schools, the towns’ costs are a bit higher. This year towns that join the school district’s purchase agreement will be able to purchase oil at $2.07 per gallon.

Somehow, Selectman Whizzer Wheeler said, “Waterford slipped through the cracks.” When the agreement was finalized, the town was not included in it.

Wheeler contacted CN Brown and SAD 17 Superintendent Mark Eastman, but no one was sure what happened. Eastman told Wheeler, though, that he would ask CN Brown to set aside 5,000 gallons of the district’s oil for the town.

Last winter, Waterford used 5,028 gallons of fuel oil. Wheeler said that once the oil set aside for the town at a rate of $2.07 per gallon has been used this winter, the town will have to pay whatever the street price price is.

SAD 17 Business Manager Cathy Fanjoy said the 5,000 gallons is “just a drop in the bucket” compared to the 240,000 gallons the district has reserved. She added that schools are taking measures to conserve energy next winter, and she is sure the 5,000 gallons can be spared.

“We didn’t have to do that,” Fanjoy said, “but it seemed like the fair thing to do.”

Wheeler said Eastman, who is on vacation this week, has not formalized the agreement.


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