LIVERMORE FALLS — There will be no summer recreation program for children this year.

Selectmen voted 3-0 Tuesday to cancel the multiweek program this year because of COVID-19 restrictions. Selectmen Heather Bronish and Sarah Flagg were absent.

Prior to the vote, Town Manager Stephen Gould told selectmen he thought they needed to look at closing the recreation program, which typically runs from mid-June into July.

“We have more than 300 kids for rec,” Gould said. “We would only have 50 at a time.”

There is a syndrome in children linked to the coronavirus that could potentially be devastating, he said.

Children from Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Fayette and other towns attend the program.

There also would be five or six staff members who would need to be there, which lowers the number of children who could attend at a time, he said.

“I think the smart thing is to cancel,” he said.

“I don’t see any possible way we could do it,” program Director Sally Boivin said.

Selectman Nixon Ortiz said his children’s summer camps have been canceled.

“We could save the money and use it next year,” he said.

“I agree,” Boivin said.

In othe business, selectmen voted to let Fire Chief Edward Hastings IV spend up to $3,000 from this year’s department budget to fix a stabilizer on the ladder truck and make other repairs.

“I would be comfortable spending $2,000 to $3,000 out of this year’s budget,” he said.

In March, Hastings said his truck maintenance budget was overspent by about $6,500 and to fix a broken stabilizer would cost about $1,700. It would not address about 25 more deficiencies, he said. The department’s budget as a whole has not been exceeded, he said, and because it is not a line item budget he could find the money.

The truck has been out of service for all but 12 days since Dec. 4, 2019. There are four stabilizers on the truck that are used when the 110-foot ladder is extended.

He could not guarantee the truck would be certified to be roadworthy, Hastings said.

The repairs needed were about $13,000 but he would not be comfortable spending that amount in the current budget. The repair company is willing to hold the repair bill until after July 1 when the new fiscal year starts, Hastings said.

“We have a piece of machinery. We need to fix it,”  Selectman Jeffrey Bryant said. If more money is needed to get the truck roadworthy, they will need to find the money.

“We should have our own ladder truck,” he said, to use on three-story houses, chimney fires and other incidents.

“We need to be dependent on us,” Bryant said. “We need to fix it and move forward.”

Hastings will let selectmen know if the repairs that are done will put the truck back on the road.

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