WOODSTOCK — Residents voted Tuesday evening to authorize the town to lease-purchase a 2016 Freightliner pumper-tanker firetruck during a special town meeting at the Woodstock Town Office.

The 350-horsepower Freightliner would be built by Midwest Fire Co. in Luverne, Minn., for $218,944.

Town Manager Vern Maxfield explained that the Woodstock Fire Department’s 1987 Engine 1 pump truck was taken out of service because it needed at least $48,000 of repairs.

Fire Chief Kyle Hopps said that he had taken Engine 1 to Vassalboro for a pump test, which it failed.

“We’ve been doing pump tests in house since 2010,” Hopps said. “The pump test in Vassalboro was the first time we had done a pump test outside of town in five years. They ended up finding all kinds of problems with it. It would’ve been at least $48,000, and that’s not even counting the electrical components that needed fixing.”

Board of Selectmen Chairman Ron Deegan said that he and the rest of the board “could not imagine swallowing that amount of money for a used truck,” and asked Hopps to look at other options.

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The options put before the selectmen included purchasing another used firetruck, purchasing a smaller, used pumper-tanker, selling Engine 1 and saving the money for a new truck or repairing Engine 1.

“The board ended up asking me to look at lease-purchase options instead and, after reviewing everything, it seemed like it was definitely the best way to go,” Hopps said.

Hopps told residents that if they approved the article, $90,000 would be taken from the Fire Department’s reserve funds and put towards a down payment on the new truck.

“Over the next five years, starting on April 1, 2016, the town would take $28,047 from the Fire Department’s reserve fund to make their lease payment,” Hopps said. “At the end of the five years, in 2020, we would own the truck.”

Hopps explained that every year, the town votes whether or not to approve $30,000 for the Fire Department’s reserve account.

Deegan said that, to his knowledge, the town had voted to approve the Fire Department’s reserve funds.

“Even after taking out the $28,047, there would be about $2,000 left over each year,” he added. “We may even decide to increase the amount we ask for in the reserve account, if the budget allows us to do so. That way, the reserve account wouldn’t be completely depleted.”

Before residents voted on the article, Deegan said, “Right now, we’re running on borrowed time. For me, this is the best option for the citizens. It will keep the Fire Department equipped with the tools they need to keep the town safe.”

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