CHESTERVILLE — Selectmen on Thursday night approved buying a 20-ton trailer for $3,200 to haul the town’s recently purchased excavator.

Vice Chairman Tiffany Estabrook had seen a listing for it and told Highway Foreman Mike Cote.

“It’s a good trailer,” Cote said.

It’s owned by Terry Warren of Smithfield.

Fire Chief John Archer announced burn permits are available at the Fire Department when someone is there, and there is a list on the Town Office door of firefighters who have permits at their homes. 

Deputy Town Clerk Rachel Heseltine said burn permits are also available at the Chesterville Store. 

Selectman Edward Hastings IV, who is Livermore Falls’ fire chief, said more than 60 communities use online sites to obtain burn permits, including wardensreport.com.

That site charges $75 per year, another site costs $250 per year, and the state site costs $7 per permit, Hastings said.

“With the first two, the town bears the cost once a year. Residents get the permit for free and a text message is sent to the Fire Department to let them know,” Hastings said.

He said the Maine Forest Service has announced it won’t authorize permits from those sites because it has its own online service.

“Two dollars from every state-issued permit goes to the town, $1 to Maine Forest Service to fund the website and $4 goes to the General Fund,” Hastings said.

He said fire chiefs met with the Maine Forest Service in April and there was never any mention that the online websites were illegal.

On Sunday, Hastings called Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, about the situation.

Hastings said the Legislature’s Conservation Committee met Monday and a bill is being submitted to make the permits legal again.

“Livermore Falls doesn’t have a system in place to provide burn permits. We can go back to that, but it doesn’t serve the residents,” Hastings said. 

Estabrook said, “You’re looking at $1.6 million taken from the General Fund for those 400,000 permits.

“This is a way bigger problem than Chesterville, Maine,” Hastings said.

According to the Warden’s Report Facebook page, the Maine Senate on Friday unanimously passed legislation that will allow municipalities to purchase and use burn permit software from a private party to issue burn permits online. The legislation now awaits action by the House and the governor.

In other business Thursday, Cote told selectmen the Maine Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 21, at the Town Office on replacing the bridge on the Dutch Gap Road.

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