Tuesday Farmington Selectmen unanimously approved several requests from the Farmington Fire Rescue Department. Pictured from left during one of the votes are Selectmen Michael Fogg and Joshua Bell, Town Manager Richard Davis and Selectmen Scott Landry and Matthew Smith. Pam Harnden/Franklin Journal

FARMINGTON — Selectmen Tuesday approved several items relating to the Farmington Fire Rescue Department.

Accepted was the $806,476 bid from Minuteman Fire and Rescue Apparatus, Inc. of Walpole, Massachusetts for a rescue pumper to replace Engine 1. The truck will have a hot-dipped galvanized frame to assist with corrosion mitigation.

Town Manager Richard Davis said he is working with bond counsel to explore lease purchase options to pay for the truck.

“There is a sizable discount if payment is made in full by Dec. 6,” he said. “We need to find out if it applies to a lease program.”

Selectman Chairman Joshua Bell asked if there were any warranties for the truck.

Capt. TD Hardy said there are usually a bunch of them. The warranty on the big components is usually five years.

The board approved accepting a$19,050 2019 Homeland Security Grant to purchase a battery-operated combination tool and cutter.

Davis said the grant would cover 100% of the purchase.

Hardy said the new extrication tool uses batteries and is easier to use. It could be used in remote areas not accessible by large apparatus, is quick to set up using limited manpower and provides updated technology to handle newer vehicle technology.

“It’s portable, can be popped out of one truck,” he said. “We’ll no longer need to take that money out of the budget.”

The board also approved the expenditure of unallocated fire equipment reserve account funds for repairs to Tower 2.

Acting Chief Tim Hardy said when the truck was taken to Massachusetts to repair damages resulting from the Sept. 16 incident it ran a little hot. He was told the radiator really should be replaced.

He went to the town manager to see about using some of the funds appropriated for the repair of Engine 2.

“The radiator is $3,800. About 15 hours of labor to change it out,” he said. “I’m confident we won’t spend all the money allotted to Engine 2 repairs. A lot of those are being done in house.”

Davis estimated the repairs at about $5,000 but Hardy thought it would be about $6,000.

The board also addressed requests from several other departments.

It accepted a $1,500 grant from Wal-Mart to purchase and set up equipment for the police truck and authorized the sale by bid of the LESO-acquired front end loader with the proceeds going to purchase two police cruisers. Deputy Chief Shane Cote said Wal-Mart Manager Greg Patterson had set aside some of his community funding for the department. Because Wal-Mart approached the dept, it does not constitute solicitation. The previously approved sale of the loader to the state police to purchase the cruisers fell through, he said.

The board approved spending $20,000 for a used Sicard snowblower for public works and $78,995 to purchase a loader to plow town sidewalks. Public Works Director Phil Hutchins said the snowblower had been used at the Carrabassett airport, is in awesome shape and parts can be purchased off the shelf. Les Jordan had been asking $25,000 but would take $20,000 for it.

“The neat thing about it is it’s an automatic. It’s faster,” Hutchins said. “It’s in really good shape, all original, has very low hours and runs well. The old one was clutch driven.”

Tuesday night Farmington Selectmen voted 3-1 to purchase a Wacker Neuson WL32 High Flow Wheel loader for $78,995. Seen from left are Public Works Director Phil Hutchins, Selectmen Michael Fogg, Chairman Joshua Bell, Town Manager Richard Davis, Executive Secretary Nancy Martin (partially hidden), and Selectmen Scott Landry (partially hidden) and Matthew Smith. Selectman Stephan Bunker was absent. Pam Harnden/Franklin Journal

The Wacker Neuson WL32 High Flow Wheel Loader comes with a 60-inch bucket, 48-inch double auger snowblower, two sets of tires – one for summer use – and a 24-month warranty.

Hutchins obtained a $124,900 quote for a 2018 Holder. Finding mechanics to work on Holder issues has been difficult, he said.

Before the vote, Davis said one of the things that keeps him awake nights is the ongoing issues with the older Holder sidewalk machine the town uses.

“If that goes down, we’re out of luck,” he said.

Hutchins said, “They’re starting to become very popular, not Power Take Off driven like the holder. Hydraulic-driven, there are two hoses with liquid pressure. They’re dependable, double the power. In half an hour can replace the hoses, we can make them in house.”

Bell asked about the benefits of this machine over a skid steer.

Hutchins said it is narrower than the Holder, has interchangeable units and is designed for heavy year-round usage. A skid steer is not as heavy, traction is an issue causing slipping and sliding and it’s wider than the Holder.

“It’s not as efficient as a designated sidewalk machine,” he said.

Bell said he supported the idea but opposed purchasing the Wacker Neuson as only one quote had been presented.

The board also wrote off $2,986.50 in uncollectible personal property taxes and executed declaration of actions to collect personal property taxes in Small Claims Court.

Davis provided a list of those where write-off of taxes were recommended. He said some have gone out of business, some have disappeared.

Treasurer Lucy Ann Cook said she planned to take 28 accounts to Small Claims Court after notices were ignored. More than $36,000 in taxes is involved.

The board authorized Davis to enter a 3-year agreement for recycling services with Archie’s Inc. with a flat rate of $40,000 per year beginning April 1, 2020. Davis said Archie’s was originally going to charge for pull and tipping fees but accepted the flat rate making the total amount a little less than estimated.

By consensus, the board agreed to form a committee to explore options for replacing the World War II Honor Roll in Meetinghouse Park. Selectman Matthew Smith, also commander of Roderick Crosby American Legion Post 28, will work with Legionnaires and the local VFW and bring recommendations to the board. Wiles Remembrance Centers estimated a minimum of $10,000 to create a similar monument with all the names engraved on it.

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