LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen voted Monday to buy a 520,000 BTU propane furnace for the Highway Garage from Group Adams Propane Services of Livermore Falls.

Voters agreed in June to raise $18,000 for a new furnace to replace a more than 30-year-old unit that constantly needed repairs.

Highway foreman Bill Nichols said he received six estimates for furnaces and installation. He had called companies around the area, including Winthrop and Wilton, to get estimates.

Each company came in with another person and walked through the garage, which is 40 by 1,020 feet with no insulation, to see what could be offered, he said. Three of them were engineers, he said.

Group Adams was the low bidder at $14,418.25. The furnace has a 93 percent efficiency rate, he said.

There was a $257.53 difference to the next lowest bid from A Maurais & Son Inc. of Jay, with a cost of $14,675.78, he said. The furnace it offered was 240,000 BTUs with a 95 percent efficiency rate.

The estimates went as high as $26,998.60, according to a spreadsheet Nichols presented to Flagg. Nichols said he was leaving it up to the board to make a decision.

The prices did not include propane tanks or propane.

The higher amount of BTUs would provide double the heating capacity, board Chairman Bill Demaray said.

A bigger unit will work less, Selectman Kenny Jacques said.

Resident Ron Chadwick suggested the board use the remaining dollars to ready the garage for insulation.

“It is something we can look into,” Demaray said.

Later in the meeting, Chadwick asked about the town’s bidding policy to make sure there is transparency. He asked if the board has a bidding policy.

At the last meeting, the board voted to go with a local vehicle dealership cruiser, he said.

Chadwick asked if it was put out to bid in the newspapers.

Flagg was unsure if it was put in the newspaper but four sealed bid packets were presented to the board and opened during a meeting. It was at a meeting in early September, prior to the one the board awarded the contract to.

It is getting expensive to advertise in the newspaper, Jacques said.

For one ad, it was $800 to find an employee, Flagg said.

The town’s bid policy allows for informal bids.

“I just want transparency,” Chadwick said.

Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr., who was not at the meeting, said Tuesday that he contacted nine dealerships that sell police packages from around the area, including Auburn, Augusta and Farmington. The bids were to Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge dealerships, he said.

Four of them sent back bid packages, Steward said.

In another matter, selectmen voted to have Flagg sign a one-year contract with Androscoggin County for $33.941.55 for dispatching services.

Flagg said she had asked if the contract could be for six months in case voters chose to withdraw from Androscoggin County. She was told no. It would go from January to December 2014. The county is on a calendar year.

Even if voters approve the county change, the Franklin County dispatch center would not be ready to take over Livermore Falls dispatching in July 2014, she said.

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