Farmington selectmen vote to authorize the purchase of a pickup truck for the Police Department at their meeting Tuesday evening. From left: Selectmen Michael Fogg, Joshua Bell and Stephan Bunker, Town Manager Richard Davis, Executive Secretary Nancy Martin and Selectman Scott Landry.

FARMINGTON — Selectmen authorized the purchase of a pickup truck and trading a military loader for two used cruisers for the Police Department, which will allow all officers to have their own vehicles.

Information provided by Deputy Chief Shane Cote noted the department was seeking to buy a 2019 cruiser. Bid requests were sent out to 12 dealerships in April. Two bids were received with several options, but would not be available until late fall.

Since then, the state bid process for bulk purchase of police vehicles was awarded. Quirk Ford has a Police Responder Ford F150 for the state price of $32,593. That is less than the $37,094 state bid price for a Ford Interceptor SUV.

Part of the purchase included a request to trade the department’s 1985 Dresser loader for two used, fully equipped State Police cruisers plus the equipment and set up of the new F150. The loader was acquired from the military through the LESO program. Its current value is $15,000 to $20,000. It is not being used. The value of the items traded for is $17,000 to $18,000.

“It’s pure gain for the town. There was no cost to the town for the loader,” Cote said. “Quirk has one set aside (F150) on the lot pending the outcome tonight.

“We have five vehicles now. Eight would allow us to assign one to each officer.”

Cote said that could be an incentive for officers to stay working for the department. The officer could set up the vehicle and be responsible for it.

Chairman Joshua Bell asked if relying on used vehicles would result in the need to replace vehicles sooner than every five years.

“When a car is assigned to one officer, it doesn’t get the same mileage, wear,” Cote said. “Having one vehicle for each officer could also extend the life of the department’s vehicles as they would no longer be used 16 hours out of every 24.”

Selectman Scott Landry said he liked the idea of officers having their own vehicles as an incentive to keep them around.

“We’re training new people over and over,” he said. “Maybe this can help.”

Cote said the used cruisers have 80,000 to 90,000 miles on them. They cost about $5,500 each from surplus. The town would be spending $32,000 for vehicles worth $50,000.

“The cruisers will be painted black; all the equipment is left in them,” Cote said. “The equipment itself is worth $3,00 to $4,000.

In other matters, the board:

  • Approved Glen Pound’s application for an adult use and medical marijuana facility at 249 Farmington Falls Road.
  • Approved the referendum question on a proposed $500,000 bond to purchase a fire truck.
  • Appointed Kirk Doyle as an interim Regional School Unit 9 director.
  • Welcomed home Farmington Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell following his hospitalization from injuries sustained in the Sept. 16 explosion at the LEAP Inc. building.
  • Recognized the outpouring of support from across the state by individuals, organizations and towns in the aftermath of the explosion.

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