MEXICO — After a lengthy discussion, the select board voted March 5 to pay $1,200 for the fire department’s use of the Med-Care Ambulance base.

The fire department has been operating out of the Med-Care base since the fire station was flooded by the Dec. 18 storm and the subsequent repair process.

On Feb. 6, Med-Care Ambulance Chief Paul Landry Jr. told the select board that several of its board of directors voiced concern that there is no agreement with the Town of Mexico regarding compensation for use of the facility. He suggested that the town could make a small contribution to the Med-Care ambulance fund.

At the March 5 meeting, Select Board member Peter Merrill, who also represents Mexico on the Med-Care board of directors, said “They weren’t calling it rent while we were there for an extended period of time. That’s over and above any mutual aid agreement. A lot of that is pressured by some of the other towns that are part of the Med-Care contract. We should be doing something in the equivalent of a rent payment for that period of time.”

He said representatives from two of the 11 member towns suggested a fee of $5,000. “That’s debatable.”

After some discussion, the board agreed with Town Manager Raquel Welch-Day’s suggestion that they pay $1,200 because they weren’t costing Med-Care anything except for space. Fire Chief Mat Theriault anticipates they will be leaving soon.

Further, the town could pay the $1,200 out of its contingency fund. With a greater amount, it would have had to come out of the surplus, which would have required a vote by the town

Welch-Day said, “If we’re going to pay any money, they should give us a bill for rent because then we’d be able to claim that toward FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).”

Med-Care towns include Andover, Byron, Canton Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Newry, Peru, Roxbury and Rumford in Oxford County, as well as to the town of Carthage in Franklin County.

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