LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen voted 2-1 Tuesday to allow fire Chief Tim “TD” Hardy to buy an aluminum body for the 2005 Dodge pickup truck that has rusted out rear panels.

The cost is $5,799 from Scott’s Recreation in Turner.

Selectman Ron Chadwick opposed the vote while Chairwoman Louise Chabot and Selectman Jim Collins voted for it. Selectmen Laurie Sanborn and Mary Young were absent.

The department bought the used truck about four years ago under another administration.

Hardy said that Deputy Chief Alan Chretien had taken the truck around to local shops to get estimates for the rust repair.

Two of the businesses said they wouldn’t repair the rust because it was too far gone, Hardy said. A couple said that the department would be back next year to have the rust repaired again, he said. The others quoted $1,200 to $1,500 but cautioned it would most likely last only one year.

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Firefighters looked at various options to try to determine which way to proceed.

The recommendation was to go with the $5,799 aluminum body. There was money in last year’s budget that Town Manager Kristal Flagg told him to put in an invoice for the body prior to the end of the year on June 30. That way, the money would be held over and not roll over into the general fund.

All but $1,800 would come out of the maintenance line, Hardy said. The $1,800 would come from another line in the budget and he still would be within budget, he said.

Selectmen did not meet July 2 so discussion on the body had to wait until Tuesday.

The aluminum body will probably outlast the truck but it could be removed and put on another truck, he said.

Firefighters and members of the Public Works Department would install it.

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Chadwick said the truck was bought for $15,500 in 2010 and they dumped another $7,000 into it. He said putting another $6,000 into it would be a waste.

“I don’t think a half-ton truck is good for anything,” Chadwick said.

“I totally agree with you,” Hardy said, but this is what they have to work with.

“Right now it is spending good money after bad,” Chadwick said, suggesting they look at state or federal surplus to see what is available.

Hardy said the truck definitely has it limitations. If they had a heavier pickup such as three-quarter ton or one ton it would be a better truck for the department.

If they do nothing, then Hardy said he didn’t believe it would pass inspection next year. They could probably get this year out of it and have to have repairs done next spring. There also is a bumper rusting out.

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“It’s a safe vehicle but it has its limitations,” he said.

Engine 3 is also nearing replacement, he said.

If they spend $5,799 for the body, they can buy time and look for something else, resident Denise Rodzen said.

Hardy said they need a smaller but heavier vehicle.

“I do think we have some benefits of a smaller piece like Livermore’s brush truck” he said. “We have to be careful because it is an emergency vehicle.”

Hardy said the department will do whatever selectmen want them to do.

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Resident Tim Fournier suggested Hardy hold off and look for a vehicle they could work with instead of putting more money into the current truck.

“If we put his body on we’ll get another four or five years out of it,” Billy Nichols, a firefighter and town public works foreman said.

If they are going to replace a vehicle, he said, it should be Engine 3.

Collins made a motion to spend $5,800 to buy a new body that can be used on another truck when the time comes.

The vote narrowly passed.

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