FARMINGTON — Selectmen Tuesday, March 14, addressed three funding requests with different outcomes for each.

Failing was a request to spend up to $25,933.60 for the construction and installation of an electric vehicle charging station in the municipal parking lot’s northeast corner at 194 Main St., for which a $14,000 Efficiency Maine grant has been received.

Selectmen Stephan Bunker and Scott Landry voted yes, Byron Staples and Joshua Bell no. Chair Matthew Smith was absent. The tie vote meant the motion failed.

Interim Town Manager Cornell Knight said funds could be taken from the Downtown TIF account.

Bell said he remembered discussion on the matter, asked if the expenditure had been approved at a previous meeting.

Cindy Gelinas, planning assistant, said it had been discussed when looking at uses for ARPA funds and former Town Manager Christian Waller signed a five-year contract (with CarbonDay EV Charging of Illinois) in January to move forward. She noted revenue could be generated from the station, that it is programmable. Grant funds have not been received, she stated.


There are more grants that might cover the cost, Staples said.

Bell suggested tabling the matter to determine if funding had already been approved.

If there are no records in the minutes, can this be rejected, Bunker asked.

Gelinas said there is a July 31 deadline to have the station up and running.

Landry asked if it would be the only charging station downtown. “At some point we are going to have to do it, it won’t get cheaper,” he said. He agreed previous actions should be checked.

The majority of Downtown TIF funds have been allocated for the bridge project, Bell noted.


This is a good project with 50% grant funding, Knight said. There are none downtown, merchants want it, it would be good for town employees, he noted.

Bell said the board should be using the town’s purchasing policy that was amended in 2021 to read, “Purchases of goods or services in excess of $10,000 shall be accomplished by competitive bid. When purchasing goods/services costing more than $5,000 but less than $10,000, at least three quotes shall be obtained and every effort shall be made to obtain quotes from as many local vendors as possible, particularly if no advertising is published. If verbal quotes are obtained, they shall be summarized in writing and the record of quotes shall be maintained for at least one year.”

Bunker stated the policy should be used going forward, the contract was signed by the past administration and needs to be accepted or rejected. The town’s future relationship with Efficiency Maine is a concern, he added.

Gelinas said she hadn’t checked to see if the work could be finished by the deadline.

It would be too bad to approve the funds, not get it done in time, Staples said.

Staples said he would look into other grant options.


There are charging stations at Hannaford and Farmington Ford for public use.

The station would be a good opportunity for people shopping downtown, those who don’t want to be sitting at Farmington Ford for two hours, Landry said before the vote.

Wednesday morning Bunker said the issue remains an open question since there was no second motion to go in one direction or another.

“Personally I think it is a very worthy project we should undertake,” he said. “It is worthy of consideration at another meeting. The grant supports our downtown business district. I hope it comes forward for further discussion.”

Electric vehicles, charging stations are the coming trend, Bunker noted, stating he is biased as he is operating his second hybrid vehicle. This station has an opportunity to recoup some of the costs as rates can be charged for its use, he added.

Approving up to $32,000 from the Wastewater Treatment Plant Land Treatments Reserve Account for a generator for the pump station on Wilton Road was tabled.


The generator is part of an adaptation plan required by the DEP to get stand alone generators for all Route 2 pumps, Stephen Millett, director said. A portable one is used now between five or six stations, he noted. It will be March or April of 2024 before a generator can be obtained, he added.

Bell said he had no issue with the generator, but the purchasing policy should be used. This is well over the limit, put it out to bid or get three quotes, he noted.

Millett said it could be put out to bid, the phase 3 power on Wilton Road affects which contractors can do the work.

Millett said he proposed using the reserve account as his budget took a big hit this year from increases due to PFAS (forever chemicals). Costs went from $110 per wet ton to more than $240 per wet ton, it can’t be composted, he noted.

“Unless they come up with a solution, it is only going to get worse,” he added.

Selectmen approved up to $6,200 for repairs at the Community Center.

During the recent cold spell the heating system wasn’t functioning, repairs got it working, Matthew Foster, recreation director, said. Other issues were identified that need to be repaired to keep the system functioning until the current boiler system can be replaced with more efficient units, he noted.

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