LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen voted Tuesday to spend $12,000 for just over an acre on Route 106 to build a fire substation.

Chairman Jeffrey Bryant said members of the subcommittee for the substation reached a consensus to buy the 200- by 300-foot property owned by Peter Morris of Livermore Falls.

An engineer from New Hampshire walked property owned by Charles Barker of Leeds and the Morris’ property to see which would be best for the station, Bryant said. Initially, the board voted in September to trade a tax-acquired property at the intersection of Routes 133 and 106 for more than an acre owned by Barker.

After consulting with the town’s attorney, the tax-acquired property with deed restrictions still has about two years before anything can be built on it. The lawyer advised the town could not trade it, Bryant said previously.

Livermore Falls selectmen voted Tuesday to trade a 1997 combination ladder-pumper truck and an engine truck for a used 1991 engine for the Livermore Falls Fire Rescue Department. Submitted Photo

The engineer’s recommendation is that the Morris property is perfect to build a one-bay substation for the East Livermore section of town, Bryant said. It is within a mile of the intersection of state routes 133 and 106. Voters approved building the station in November 2020 by a vote of 992-399. It authorized selectmen to spend up to $400,000 over 20 years to build the station, with payments not to exceed $20,000 a year.

In another Fire Rescue Department matter, Chief Mike Booker told selectmen the 1997 ladder truck is not working. It needs another $20,000 to get it roadworthy, he said, which is in addition to about $20,000 recently spent for repairs. The ladder truck is at Greenwood Emergency Vehicles in Brunswick.

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The 1997 combination aerial-pumper truck was purchased used in New Jersey for $15,000 under a different chief in December 2020. Selectmen voted in 2021 to spend up to $15,000 to get the truck ready for service. It replaced a 1988 aerial truck that had been out of service for 232 days from December 2019 to December 2020.

There are also issues with Engine 6, which is a 2000 former military truck.

“It is not practical for our area,” Booker said. It was made to use at an airport.

Greenwood is willing to give $10,000 for the ladder truck and $10,000 for Engine 6, he said.

Jay Fire Rescue, which Booker is also chief of, is using a loaner 1991 engine while its 1997 ladder truck is being refurbished at Greenwood.

Booker said Greenwood is willing to do an even trade for the Livermore Falls ladder truck and Engine 6.

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The loaner has about 30,000 miles on it.

Jay’s aerial truck is expected back soon. It went to be refurbished in January and was expected to return within four months.

“It is in really good shape,” Booker told Livermore Falls selectmen of the loaner truck.

He talked it over with the fire officers of the Livermore Falls department and they were in agreement with the trade, he said.

The Jay department is automatically called out for a structure fire in Livermore Falls and the ladder truck responds when needed.

Booker said he has talked with fire officials in Wilton and Farmington and they would bring their ladder trucks to Livermore Falls when needed. Wilton is the Livermore Falls department’s rapid intervention team. Winthrop also has a ladder truck and has responded to assist Livermore Falls.

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There are eight firefighters who serve Livermore Falls and Jay departments.

The existing ladder truck is causing the town a lot of trouble, Town Manager Amanda Allen said, and the town continues to dump money into it for repairs.

In December the ladder truck had a mechanical issue and broke down at a house fire on High Street. It had to be moved to make room for Farmington’s aerial.

A study done in 2006 indicated Livermore Falls and Jay only needed one ladder truck, Deputy Fire Chief Scott Shink said. He was on board with trading the trucks for the one Jay is using.

Rumford and Mexico also share a ladder truck, he said.

Selectmen voted 3-1 to make the trade. Jim Long said he was only opposed because he would like to have more time to review it. Selectmen Bryant, William Kenniston and Rodney Heikkinen voted in favor. Ernie Souther was absent.

Booker also told the board that Engine 1 is rusting from the inside out and needs to be replaced sooner than later.


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