FARMINGTON — Selectmen Tuesday, April 28, voted unanimously to send a letter to the Regional School Unit 9 school board requesting the 2020-21 budget be kept flat or as low as possible.

Selectman Matthew Smith said Wilton had sent a letter to the school board and asked about doing something similar.

Wilton approved sending the letter because of how the Governor’s stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus is affecting the economy.

“I don’t know if they’ll listen,” Smith said.

Selectman Chairman Joshua Bell agreed, noting the district has contractual agreements that would increase.

Town Manager Richard Davis said Dennis O’Neil, one of Farmington’s school board representatives, said a 2% increase was being discussed at one point.

“They may be meeting tonight to discuss it,” he said.

In other business, the striping and crosswalk painting bid was awarded to Lucas Striping, LLC of Readfield  for $21,905.30.

Davis said information was sent to eight or ten companies with only one bid received.

“It’s the same price as last year,” he said. “It’s within the budget ($23,000).”

Selectmen also gave approval for the Parks and Recreation Department to spend up to $2,500 from the reserve account to purchase a trailer. The board had approved spending up to $1,600 for a new utility trailer last year but it wasn’t purchased.

Director Matthew Foster provided information on options. The four steel trailers looked at weigh over 1,000 pounds each, can haul an additional 2,000 pounds and cost about $1,800.

A heavy duty aluminum trailer would cost $2,200 – $2,500. Benefits include:

  • Less than half the weight, making it easier to maneuver and reducing potential injuries
  • Same 2,000-pound capacity
  • Superior torsion suspension (compared to leaf suspension)
  • Will not rust (many of the new steel trailers had small rust spots already starting, while
  • sitting brand new on the lot)
  • Loading ramps are built more durable for commercial use
  • Improved fuel economy of hauling significantly less weight
  • Less wear and tear on equipment hauling the trailer
  • 15 inch, heavier duty wheels with improved load capacity (13 inch found on most steel trailers)
  • Made in Maine

There is $12,077 in the equipment reserve account.

“It’s nice to see it’s made in Maine,” Bell said before the vote.

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