CANTON — Board of Selectmen Chairman Donny Hutchins threw everyone for a loop at Thursday night’s board meeting when he asked when the town was founded.

People in the audience had the year and month right — February 1821 — but not the date. Canton was set off from Jay and incorporated Feb. 5, 1821. It is named after Canton, Mass.

But it was the year that mattered most to Hutchins, who said, “Our Bicentennial is six years from now and we need to plan for it.”

He laid out the basics of that planning, such as establishing a reserve account and allocating money annually and creating a committee.

“I think that if we can get ahead on this now, we can have a hell of a bash,” Hutchins said.

He volunteered to “ride herd on this” until a Bicentennial Celebration Committee is formed.


In other business, Fire Chief Shane Gallant received board permission to get the department’s 1988 GMC tanker firetruck assessed to determine a resale price. He wants to first list it with companies that sell used firetrucks rather than try to sell it by word of mouth locally.

“I don’t think it’s going to be as much as we anticipated, because it’s going to be a gas job,” Gallant said. He’d like to get $10,000 for it, but because it runs on gasoline instead of diesel fuel, he thinks the resale value will be less.

Gallant said a dealer who alerted him to the sale of an Arizona firetruck to replace the old tanker told him that someone in Kentucky offered $4,000 for the Canton truck sight unseen.

“I just want to start listing it with these (companies) and see where it goes,” he said. “There’s a possibility we could sell the body if somebody just wants to buy the body. There’s plenty of farms around here. It would make a good hay wagon.”

“So tell us about the truck you’re going to look at,” Hutchins said.

Gallant said he will fly to Phoenix, Ariz., on Thursday, July 16, to examine a 1989 Pierce Arrow firetruck in Casa Grande. The truck was fully refurbished by Pierce Arrow in 2006, including the installation of a new 2,500-gallon poly tank.


“So, basically, it’s a 2006 truck with an ’89 interior,” Gallant said. “They replaced what needed to be replaced and repaired what needed to be repaired . . . You don’t see a truck in this good of shape that’s only got 33,000 or 34,000 miles on it.”

He said he looked into its history and learned that it was used to cover fires in an Indian reservation and was put out of service in 2014 and used as a backup truck. The asking price is $34,995.

Selectman Malcolm Ray asked about the shipping cost.

“It’s going to be expensive, so don’t get sticker shock, but added to the cost of the truck, we’d still be way ahead of the game,” Gallant said.

He got estimates ranging from $6,000 to $6,500 from a broker in Maine to $9,000.

“How much is it going to cost to outfit it once it gets here?” Hutchins asked.


Gallant said another $4,000 to $5,000 for hoses and around $650 for lettering. Responding to a question from Ray, Gallant said his flight ticket cost is $1,400.

“There is the potential that I get out there and something could be wrong with it . . . but I don’t feel comfortable having it shipped here without looking at it,” Gallant said.

After adding up the costs, Hutchins said, “$12,000 under our budget with all that, not bad.”

“Good work,” Ray said.

Gallant said he would start work right away to get the old firetruck listed on the markets.

“If you can pull this off, you’re doing all right,” Hutchins said.

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