Med-Care Ambulance Service President Bob Chase, left, explains to Rumford selectmen Thursday night the plan to grow its reserves for capital expenditures. Beside Chase, from left, are Selectmen Eric McLean, Frank DiConzo, Chairman Chris Brennick and Town Manager Stacy Carter. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday to support a request by Med-Care Ambulance Service for $46,000 from the town’s allotment from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Selectman Frank DiConzo made a motion to assist Med-Care in growing its reserves for major expenditures by giving 15% of the town’s second installment of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program, a part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Town Manager Stacy Carter said the next and final installment is about $307,000, of which 15% would be about $46,000. The town has a total of $635,000 from the federal program.

Med-Care Ambulance is a quasi-municipal organization that provides emergency medical response to the towns of Andover, Byron, Canton, Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Newry, Peru, Roxbury and Rumford in Oxford County, and Carthage in Franklin County.

Med-Care President Bob Chase said the capital reserve plan received unanimous support from all  town representatives on the Med-Care board of directors and they would advocate for it with their respective selectmen.

A letter dated Aug. 8 from Paul Landry, chief of Med-Care, was sent to all member towns seeking 15% of each town’s second installment from the ARPA.


“Med-Care has not yet been able to establish the point where we’ve built capital reserves and be able to set money aside for those larger purchases that come up less than frequently,” Chase said.

With the request, he believes capital expenses is the place to use it.

“We don’t want to use any of this money for operating expenses,” he said. “We want to get on solid financial ground in regards to capital expenditures so that we can get ahead on things that are more one-time purchases like some of our ambulances and equipment.”

Landry said only 22% of the revenue to run Med-Care comes from town assessments, which is $30 per capita.

He said if all the towns participate in this proposal, it would bring $109,000 to the capital fund. “That would really take care of a lot of our immediate capital needs.

“The capital purchases will have a big impact for years to come on us being able to establish that capital replacement plan because it’s been lacking for years,” Landry said. “There are items that have built up, like the radio system and the stretchers — things that are a liability not to replace.”


“Although the town is in good financial condition, the town also has capital needs,” Carter said,. “I was trying to push the board to use some of this funding to build efficiencies for the town and town buildings to reduce our heating and electrical costs.

“I’m not opposed to sharing some of this with Med-Care because the way I looked at it is if we take it out of ARPA funds, it’s not necessarily on the taxpayers,” he said. “If we don’t fund this, I kind of expect that we’d probably see a special assessment.

Landry said the most critical major expense is replacing the radio system for about $92,000.

He said the system has been used for 15 years and it’s difficult to find replacement parts.

Chase said the radio system would add $6.50 per capita to assessments.

DiConzo said for Med-Care to operate properly, there should be a capital reserve fund to provide the proper equipment when people need it.


While Chase acknowledged that Med-Care does have some immediate needs, “There is nothing we’re going without now that we would need to replace tomorrow. But we have to start that project cycle.”

Selectman Peter Chase asked the board to prepare for the fallout from its vote.

Two weeks prior, the board voted not to fund the Greater Rumford Community Center request for operational funds.

On Thursday, selectmen voted 2-1 against a request by the Community Center for $30,000 the town received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The issue was the meteoric rise in heating oil prices that could double the fuel bill this winter, according to Mindy Gorham, president of the community center board of directors.

The center, which gets funding approved by voters, is not a department of the town.

“This is not the same situation,” Chairman Chris Brennick said. (Med-Care) “is literally an essential service.”

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