JAY — Selectpersons voted 3-1 Monday to offer to share the Fire Rescue Department’s E-One ladder truck with Livermore Falls for $6,330 for six months.

It is estimated that Livermore Falls’ 1988 ladder truck needs $11,200 to $14,000 in repairs to keep it in service.

Jay’s truck cost $498,000 in 1997 and had a 25-year life expectancy, according to information provided by Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere. The cost per year based on 25 years is $19,920. The annual maintenance cost is $4,000, which includes ladder test, oil change and service. It also costs $1,400 for fuel.

If Jay shared the truck with Livermore Falls based on cost per capita it would be $3.15 per person. It would leave Jay paying $15,280.65 and Livermore Falls $10,039.05.

The cost would include a driver and full automatic response to all chimney fires, structure fires, smoke in buildings, and fire alarms in certain places.

Former Jay Selectperson Justin Merrill said if they are going to share a ladder truck with Livermore Falls, the cost should be split 50/50. During his time on the board, he said he worked for several years to try and avoid this type situation.

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Jay and Livermore Falls had previously formed a committee to look at options to share equipment and other items to save the towns money. Livermore Falls backed out of the committee work and opted to fix its fire station.

Selectperson Gary McGrane, who opposed the motion to offer to share Jay’s truck with Livermore Falls at the cost of $6,330, said the two towns already have a mutual aid agreement and the Jay truck would automatically respond to structure fires. 

It was pointed out that Jay’s ladder truck would not automatically go to a chimney fire in Livermore Falls but would go to a big structure fire. Jay would provide a service to send its ladder truck to a chimney fire under the agreement. 

Jay and Wilton had a similar sharing agreement in 2014 while Wilton decided what to do about getting a new aerial truck after its snorkel truck was taken out of service. 

Concerns raised included Jay’s truck is getting older and there would be more wear and tear on it if two towns are using it, and possibly having to replace the truck sooner. 

Asked the cost to buy a new ladder truck, Jay Fire Rescue Chief Mike Booker said it would be about $1.2 million now. He estimated Jay’s truck would at a maximum respond to maybe 20 calls in Livermore Falls under the agreement.

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Booker said Jay would probably look at getting a quint truck that would serve the dual purpose of a ladder truck and an engine in the future. 

After more discussion, Selectperson Keith Cornelio suggested offering Livermore Falls an interim contract for six months and work out a long-term solution.

If Livermore Falls agrees to the interim agreement, the Jay board agreed the money would go into the Fire Rescue Department’s capital reserve account.

The majority of selectpersons agreed to take the $25,320 annual cost and divide it in half and then in half again to share the truck for six months. 

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