WOODSTOCK — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Tuesday evening to allow the fire chief and the town manager to spend up to $5,000 to purchase a used vehicle for use by town departments.

Fire Chief Kyle Hopps told selectmen the 1996 utility truck the Fire Department was using for transportation had been vandalized.

“Someone cut the muffler off the back of the truck and stole the catalytic converter,” he said. “The truck was sitting right next to our building. I talked to the Sheriff’s Office and they said they can’t really do anything.”

Hopps said he spoke with Town Manager Vern Maxfield about the possibility of putting the truck out to bid and purchasing a vehicle that could be used by town departments.

“We already had plans to put that utility vehicle out to bid,” Hopps said. “We were only holding onto it because we had so many vehicles out of service, and we decided to start using it to travel to EMR classes. I figured that instead of pouring money into a truck that needs a lot of work, we could split the cost of a truck and make it a communal vehicle.

“Maybe one day, Vern needs to use it to go to a meeting in Augusta,” Hopps said. “Maybe another day, we need it at the Fire Department, or the Highway Department needs it. Either way, we’d have a vehicle to use for general purposes.”

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Selectman Ron Deegan was in favor of Hopps’ proposal, and made a motion that Hopps and Maxfield drive to the state auction in Augusta and purchase a used vehicle for no more than $4,000.

“You’ll be able to find yourself a nice used truck at that auction,” Deegan said.

Deegan later rescinded his motion and amended it to allow Hopps and Maxfield to spend up to $5,000.

“I don’t want you guys to be handcuffed if you find a vehicle that’s more than $4,000,” Deegan said. “I know there’s some great used vehicles out there for $5,000.”

Selectman Stephen Bies asked Maxfield how the truck would be paid for.

Maxfield said the money could come from the Fire Department Equipment Fund, the town’s general budget and the sale of the used utility vehicle.

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“It would be a communal vehicle, so there’s no reason we can’t split the price up,” Maxfield said.

Bies was hesitant about the purchase of a used truck, saying the cost of fixing the damaged utility vehicle would be about $500, while the cost of replacing it with another used truck could be up to $5,000.

“We’ll be preventing future expenses on the truck,” Maxfield told Bies. “Plus, Kyle was already going to put that vehicle out to bid.”

Board of Selectmen Chairman Victor Young said employees would not have to be reimbursed for mileage if they used the town truck instead of their own vehicle.

The board voted 3-0 to approve the sale of the damaged truck, and the purchase of another for no more than $5,000.

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