ANDOVER — Town officials learned Tuesday evening that the 2000 International plow truck has “minor rust issues,” Selectman Keith Farrington said.

Road Commissioner Mark Farrington sought advice on what to do. He estimated a new truck would cost more than $100,000 while repairs could run about $10,000. That includes $2,500 for a new frame.

“The $10,000 was just a number picked out of the air,” Mark Farrington, Keith’s brother, said.

Treasurer Barbara Simmons said the Public Works capital equipment account contains $32,171, and town meeting voters in March approved raising and appropriating $5,000 for the account.

“So we could pay for it,” Selectman Jane Rich said.

“We’ve raised it, but we haven’t authorized anyone to spend it,” Keith Farrington said. “That would have to be done at a special town meeting.”


Rich said she didn’t think the town would be interested in buying a new truck, considering the town is starting its municipal-run school this fall.

Keith Farrington suggested having his brother get estimates from other repair shops. Rich and Board of Selectmen Chairman Jim Adler concurred.

“Any more bad news?” Adler asked Mark Farrington.

The road commissioner replied, “Yep.” All three selectmen groaned.

“The deck on the bridge by Ricky Mills’ place is toast,” Mark Farrington said. “I took a crowbar out there and I could easily sink the crowbar in 2 to 3 inches.”

Simmons said there is $2,697 in the bridge account, along with $5,000 added at the town meeting.


“It is a town bridge, so we have to maintain it,” Keith Farrington said.

When asked by Adler if the town crew could replace a few boards at a time, Mark Farrington said he didn’t think that would solve the problem.

“I think it’s more than we could handle,” he said.

Keith Farrington agreed. He said the project would have to be put out to bid and asked his brother to draw up bid specifications for it.

Mark Farrington also said his crew responded to complaints about one of the ball fields and mowed it. He wanted to know if they should bill the Recreation Committee for the work that the committee usually does. Simmons said the town crew used to mow all but the ball field and charge the committee for it.

“I am not opposed to doing that, but we should tell the Rec Committee that we’re taking money out of their budget,” Keith Farrington said. “Our Rec Committee is not functioning that well yet.”


“Well, we’ve got a new one,” Adler said.

Keith said selectmen have the authority to take the money from the committee to pay for such work “but I don’t like dipping in other people’s accounts.”

In other business, the board got into a lengthy discussion about having to approve a fund balance policy. Keith Farrington said the town had never had one. Simmons said the town auditor requested it.

At issue was what percentage to place into the policy to try and attain for a fund balance. Keith Farrington said he was all for having a larger fund balance for the general fund and certain special revenue funds, but that hasn’t been the will of town meeting voters.

Chairman Adler said the percentage must be between 10 and 25 percent.

“Let’s just pick out a percent, like 15,” Rich said. “It’s not like it’s set in stone. It’s just a goal.”

Adler wanted 20 percent of the town’s total revenues by year’s end. “That’s our goal but it doesn’t mean we’re going to reach it.”

Rich motioned “to have as our goal that we have not less than 20 percent of total revenues at the end of the year.” It was seconded and approved, 3-0.

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