LIVERMORE FALLS — Serious mechanical problems with the Fire Department’s 1988 ladder truck are causing town officials to look at all of the options, including sharing the Jay Fire Department ladder truck.

At Tuesday’s selectmen meeting, Livermore Falls Fire Chief Edward Hastings IV said one of the hydraulic rams on the ladder blew a seal and started spewing oil at the Reliance Equipment shop in Vassalboro, where it was being repaired. It was estimated to cost $5,385 to repair the ram, and $845 for a ladder test afterward.

Hastings said that other problems with the ladder truck meant that it would cost a total of $11,200 to $14,000 to keep it in service.

“Having a ladder truck in Livermore Falls is a requirement,” he said. “To me, it’s really difficult justifying spending this kind of money when there’s a ladder truck just down the road in Jay.”

If the town was to purchase a new ladder truck, it would cost $200,000 or more, Hastings said.

“I recognize the town doesn’t have a lot of money. Nobody does,” he said.

Selectmen gave the go-ahead to have Hastings discuss sharing the Jay Fire Department’s ladder truck.

Selectmen voted to table a request from Area Youth Sports for $4,750 to help with its fuel debt. AYS, which runs its programs from the former Livermore Falls High School, had asked for $4,750 from Jay and $2,700 from Livermore to help with the fuel expenses.

More than 200 children in grades pre-kindergarten to 8 in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls take part in programs.

Selectman Nixon Ortiz, who is also vice president of AYS, said they are looking for a smaller boiler that would be more suitable for heating needs.

“I don’t know where we’d find the money,” Selectman George Cummings said. “You’d have to put it before the people.”

He said he didn’t like considering such matters at special town meetings because of low attendance.

Ortiz emphasized that AYS programs are a way of keeping children off the streets and out of trouble, with a variety of sports for children to take part in.

Selectman Tom Barker said he was concerned about the number of overtime hours highway employees were putting in plowing snow, working as much as 40 hours in a row.

“That is very dangerous,” he said.

Barker suggested a shift schedule of 16 hours, with eight hours off between shifts.

However, Road Foreman Bill Nichols pointed out that spare plow truck drivers are difficult to find.

“You’re going to be in quite a legal mess if there’s nobody out there taking care of the roads,” he said.

“If we do not have the guys out there plowing, emergency vehicles won’t get where they need to be,” Ortiz said.

Nichols said last winter was the first time in four years the road crew encountered a storm that forced them to work all night. He said if employees were tired, they had the option to go home for four hours.

Interim Town Manager Stephen J. Gould said he could see both sides of the argument, but said that people need to be able to get to work and roads need to be passable.

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Livermore Falls Town Office


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