Bill Perry, left, a member of the Minot Budget Committee, talks about the proposed new firetruck with Minot Fire Chief James Allen. Voters approved an amended article to spend up to $425,000 on a truck.  Andree Kehn

MINOT — Voters at town meeting Saturday approved the purchase of a new firetruck at a cost of up to $425,000.

The approval came after the article was initially voted down because people found the wording confusing.

Budget Committee members said the appropriation of $425,000 to purchase a truck should include the interest costs of the five-year note.  Selectmen, however, worded the warrant to buy a truck not to exceed $425,000 with interest costs being a separate expense.

“Apparently, there was a miscommunication between the Budget Committee and selectmen,” board Chairman Steve French said.

He said that in years past there had always been two warrant articles on such a large purchase, one to buy and the second on how the financing would work.  This year the article’s wording included the purchase, appropriating $100,000 from the undesignated fund balance, and applying the trade-in price on Engine 8 which was decommissioned in May 2018, and financing a five-year note.

“If someone can come up with the figures that make sense, I think we’ll be in favor of it,” George Buker said.

Buker believed the warrant’s wording would mean all $425,000 could be levied to the coming year’s property tax.  Town meeting moderator Scott Cole, who is interim town manager of Rumford, agreed with Buker.

Town Administrator Danielle Loring said the town’s lawyer had reviewed and approved of the wording.  Buker replied, “That lawyer ain’t paying my taxes.”

The article was rejected by a large majority of the more than 100 people at the meeting.

The meeting proceeded until the final article when Cole announced a reconsideration of the initial vote on the firetruck and asked voters to remain.  Budget Committee members met with Fire Chief Jim Allen and town officials.

Budget Committee member Bill Perry amended the warrant article to include the phrase, “to pay for year one of loan.” French seconded the motion and the article passed overwhelmingly.

Voters endorsed a $1.64 million municipal spending plan and an article requesting $17,000 for a highway antenna and repeater passed without discussion.

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