FRYEBURG – Residents approved several appropriations from its surplus fund Thursday, including more than $100,000 for new trucks for the highway department.

Ella Cressy, the town’s treasurer, said 110 people attended the special town meeting, which addressed five articles asking for money to be taken from the undesignated surplus account. The Board of Selectmen unanimously recommended accepting each article.

The largest appropriation asked for $132,000 for the purchase of two Sterling L8500 trucks. According to the article, Fryeburg has not purchased a new truck in eight years, and the aging vehicles are requiring higher maintenance costs. An estimated $120,000 more is needed to equip the trucks, and those funds will be budgeted for the 2009 fiscal year.

“These are trucks that are used almost every single day of the work week, year round,” said interim Town Manager Martin Krauter.

Krauter said the trucks are used to haul gravel in the summer, and sand and plow roads in the winter.

Cressy said the article passed after it was amended to allow selectmen to use discretion in purchasing comparatively new or used trucks to those specified in the article.

Voters also approved $20,000 to be placed in the highway department account, which is currently over budget by $5,000 for sand and salt, and $20,000 for maintenance. Cressy said $54,000 was budgeted for sand and salt for the year, while the maintenance budget stood at $71,000.

Another article approved $4,500 to install a plow on the highway department’s F-250 truck for work in the village area.

The town also approved the use of $15,000 for legal fees. While the money will address routine legal matters, the article states that the majority of the expense comes from the Planning Board’s court-mandated review of a Poland Spring Water Co. application for a water trucking facility.

The sum of $4,000 was approved for the possible search for a new town manager. Krauter said Town Manager Phil Covelli has been on medical leave since mid-January.

Krauter said the undesignated surplus fund totaled $1.2 million at the end of 2007.


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