PERU – Fire Chief William Hussey told selectmen Monday night that he is meeting with fire department officials from Dixfield, Mexico and other nearby towns to discuss sharing equipment, maintenance and other services.

“Expenses are so high, each town just can’t afford to keep up all the trucks and equipment. We are just brainstorming what might work if we regionalize. If we go this way, it will cost Peru, because we don’t pay our volunteers. We can’t expect them to go to a fire in the area where the firefighters are getting paid and they are not,” he said.

Peru firefighters are paid mileage only now.

Hussey said that until Rumford builds up its call force, it puts a real strain on the mutual aid system in the Androscoggin River valley. Peru has only 12 to 15 volunteer firefighters.

Selectman Laurieann Milligan said, “The firefighters certainly should be paid.”

The board agreed.

Selectman Rodney Jamison voiced his concerns over the future of the Peru Fire Department as well.

Selectman Jim Pulsifer said, “We do need to look at all the ways to save money. We can’t continue to take the attitude of not paying. We have an excellent Fire Department.

He also said the regionalization discussions should have representation from each town’s board of selectmen.

In other business, road commissioner Joe Roach gave his weekly program for the roads and asked how selectmen felt about doing some capital improvement before next June.

Roach said he would like to pave about 1,000 feet of Gammon Road where the road had been dug up.

Pulsifer told Roach to see if it would fit into his regular schedule to get it done this fall.

Roach will be accepting applications for a road worker this week, with a deadline of Aug. 25. Applicants must need a valid Class B driver’s license and be willing and able to work flexible and sometimes long hours.

Pulsifer said selectmen still have not heard from the University of Maine on renting the old school building.

“There is a dearth of buildings of this kind in the area,” he said.

Pulsifer also said they must have a town meeting to discuss what needs to be done with the Rockemeka Grange Hall and the town office if they should move the office to the brick building behind the school, which housed a kindergarten and first grade.

Scott Dillon, who is harvesting timber on nearly 4,000 acres in Peru, answered questions on his practices. Forest Ranger Jay Bernard and forester Merle Ring said they had approved the plan for harvesting and found it to be satisfactory. Bernard questioned how they were dealing with wildlife habitat.

Scott Nelson, a forester with Dillon, said they had set a quarter mile buffer around an area where peregrine falcons were nesting. He also said they would buffer any wet areas.

Benard mentioned timbering equipment had been vandalized and suggested that Dillon contact the Sheriffs Office to see if anything had been recovered.


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