FARMINGTON — At the Nov. 23 selectmen meeting, several expenditures were approved as was the sale of the police department’s LESO-acquired 1971 Caterpillar D7 bulldozer.

“(The bulldozer is) in good condition, I’ve seen it,” Town Manager Christian Waller said. “It’s a beaut, it has a winch on back. It is an older model.”

It has very low hours, only about 500 hours of operation on it, Police Chief Kenneth Charles said. The town spent about $1,400 to have it delivered here, he noted.

“It’s been used for its designed purpose,” Charles said. “It is far too big for the town (highway) crew to use.”

It had to be maintained on the police department’s record books for at least a year, then it comes off, becomes town property, he said. Bids of $30,000-50,000 for similar, much rougher dozers were seen online, he noted.

Proceeds from the sale will go into the department’s vehicle reserve account.

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The board authorized the purchase of two computers to replace two older ones used in police cruisers. The new ones are modular with a piece that can be taken into the office to do reports, Charles said. Included are a camera and flash to take photos, he noted.

The actual cost is less than the $11,000 estimated, Charles said. He was able to find one display model with almost no time on it which cut the cost for both by almost $3,000, he said.

Department needs will be met 110%, he noted.

Selectmen voted to move forward with treasurer LucyAnn Cook’s proposal to use Bangor Savings Bank timekeeping and accrual software for payroll processing. She shared information about the program at the Nov. 9 meeting.

It would be transparent, more accurate, and save some departments a ton of time, Cook said. Public Works employees would not need to go to the garage to sign in or out, saving an estimated $2,000 a year, she noted.

There is a one time setup fee of $1,525, but the total cost per year could be lower than the initial estimate of $7,956 as that is based on the number of employees, Cook said. On Nov. 9 there were 106 employees and 91 on Nov. 23, she said.

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Time saved on inputting payroll data could be used for writing grants, Waller said.

Also approved was $4,800 for Casco Bay Advisors LLC to complete a town study on broadband and high-speed internet availability. Infrastructure mapping, financial analysis, and assistance to expand the availability of high-speed internet would be part of the project’s report.

“We’ll be identifying infrastructure, where the gaps are,” Brian Withall, Casco Bay representative, said during a Zoom presentation. The information will allow providers to say what the cost will be, he noted.

“Broadband is a high priority, particularly in rural areas,” Selectman Stephan Bunker said.

The cost of the study will be taken from American Rescue Plan Act funds. ARPA funds could be used for broadband initiatives and the study can lead to discussions with service providers, neighboring towns and the entire region.

A letter of support was also approved for a federal tourism grant being submitted by High Peaks Alliance. In September the board approved using $5,000 from the Rail Trail Bridge Reserve Account to go towards a pre-engineering report for rebuilding the bridge in West Farmington, a requirement of the grant.

It fits within ARPA guidelines, Waller said. Diverting snowmobiles off Center Bridge is a safety factor, he noted.

“It would tie Wilton and Jay to us,” Selectman Scott Landry said.


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