DIXFIELD — Selectmen asked Town Manager Carlo Puiia on Monday evening to speak with Mexico and Dixfield police chiefs about saving money by merging their departments.

Chairman Scott Belskis said he wanted to revisit the possibility of reopening discussions with Mexico.

“The figure that was first presented to us showed that our savings would be pretty much one-third of Mexico’s savings,” Belskis said. “I think it showed $130,000 total savings, and $28,000 of that was our savings.”

He said that figure was problematic, since Dixfield and Mexico had “similar size police departments and coverage areas.”

Belskis said, “I asked Carlo if he could sit down with our (interim) police chief and Mexico’s police chief and figure out a way to make the savings more even.”

Selectman Mac Gill said there are “always other possibilities for merging departments if this falls through. I mean, we could even reach out to Jay, but I’m sure we’d run into the same problems that we would merging with Rumford,” Gill said.

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Selectman Dana Whittemore said Mexico’s population center is much closer to Dixfield than Jay.

“That’s a big factor and important to recognize,” he said. “It’s a lot easier for Mexico to run out to Dixfield, rather than Jay or Wilton running out to us.”

“Well, it’s just important to remember that we have other possibilities,” Gill said.

In other business, the board considered adding an article back to the town warrant asking to distribute cable franchise fees to WVAC TV 7.

Puiia said the issue had been a “formality” for the past several years.

“Dixfield used to put the question before residents at their annual town meeting, someone would propose an amount of money and that amount of money was seconded, discussed and voted on,” Puiia said. “At one point, the article was changed so that the money would be distributed to WVAC TV 7 annually until the article was revoked.”

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Resident Dan McKay requested that selectmen put the article back on the town meeting warrant.

“I believe it’s been a few years since we voted on this issue, and I think it’s time to see if the town still feels like handing that money over,” McKay said.

Whittemore agreed. “It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea. I think you’ll find that a lot of people will support it. A lot more people watch it than I thought,” he said.

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