OXFORD — The Oxford Board of Selectmen approved a proposal Thursday night for the town to lease a John Deere road grader.

Highway Foreman Jim Bennett presented estimates for buying and leasing a new model from various manufacturers.

The cost of a new model ranges from $256,000 for a John Deere to $295,000 for a Caterpillar.

Lease options through John Deere range from 36 to 72 months. The cost for a three-year lease would be 87,900, and a six-year lease would run $145,900.

The board unanimously approved leasing a grader but is still awaiting financing information before deciding the terms of the lease.

The grader and backhoe now used by the town will be traded in as part of the lease. The equipment needs more than $40,000 in repairs.


As replacement for the backhoe, selectmen Sept. 3 approved the purchase of a Takeuchi excavator from Anderson Equipment of Gorham and an equipment trailer from Beauregard Equipment in Scarborough, at a combined cost of $142,900.

Chief Paul Hewey of the Oxford Fire Department told the board he is working with Town Manager Butch Asselin on a federal grant for funds to replace the department’s ladder truck, which has a broken water pump that would cost at least $25,000 to repair.

Hewey said he has consulted with fire chiefs from Yarmouth and Fryeburg on the process of applying for such a grant. It would take at least a year between submitting the grant and learning if it was approved.

Hewey also said he has been recruiting more firefighters and emergency medical technicians. Start dates for new EMTs has been affected by COVID-19, which has forced the closure of certification testing facilities.

This weekend, new firefighters will participate in live burn training with one of the town’s fire trucks in Auburn.

Bancroft Contracting of South Paris is preparing for major rehabilitation to the Thompson Lake dam’s east gate and other repairs. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

In other matters, Asselin said the rehabilitation project for the Thompson Lake dam was underway. The frame for a temporary coffer dam has been fabricated and is being installed this week.

After the sheeting is added, the lake draw down will begin and engineers will inspect the coffer dam within two weeks. According to project consultant Myron Petrovsky of MBP Consulting, the project is off to a good start and running on schedule.

Property owners with lake frontage on Hogan and Whitney ponds have been sent surveys asking for input on how to approach replacing or removing the Welchville dam. Only five surveys have been returned so far, with another three returned undeliverable. Asselin said he would resend the survey electronically.

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