CANTON — Board of Selectmen Vice Chairman Lisa Cummings conducted the Thursday night board meeting so Chairman Shane Gallant, acting as fire chief, could explain to the board why the department needed a brush truck.

The present brush truck is a 1990 model and has multiple problems, including its frame being broken in two places. Gallant had a repair estimate from MT Pockets in Dixfield for $4,064.70, but it did not include fixing the frame.

Cummings wanted to know why the Fire Department needed a brush truck. Gallant explained that in the spring when there are brush fires, he cannot take his big engines into areas where a smaller truck could go. He said the brush truck is loaded with a water tank, hoses and everything else they need in order to fight brush fires.

Gallant also said he priced empty trucks at Rowe Ford and Lee Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Auburn, and new trucks ran from $47,000 to $53,000.

Gallant said he wouldn’t take new trucks into the brush.

The board made several requests for information. Cummings wanted a list of how many brush fires were answered last year. Selectman Brian Keene wanted more information on used vehicles and how the truck would be paid for. Gallant promised he would have the information at the Feb. 13 meeting, but a decision would have to be made to either fix the old truck or look at used and new trucks.

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“I need this truck by spring,” he said.

In other news, the board adopted the new General Assistance Ordinance after a brief public hearing.

Selectman Robert Walker said he would prepare a list of streetlights that were not functioning or not needed for the next meeting, or the board could inform Central Maine Power to shut off those lights, saving the town a few hundred dollars a year.

The board voted to enter the lottery for a radar speed trailer-loan program. Gallant voted against doing so because he said kids just speed to see how fast they can make the numbers go and he didn’t think it would do any good.

Ads soliciting bids for the old Municipal Building have been posted in a newspaper. Bids are due on Feb. 10 to be awarded on Feb. 13. The town is asking for a minimum bid of $7,500.

Percy Butler complained about the price, saying the town had authorization to sell property, not give it away.

Chris Dailey said there was supposed to be a committee looking at all the town properties, and wanted to know what it was doing. Gallant said the selectmen were acting as the committee and so far, the old municipal building was the only one ready to go.


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