Police & Fire

D-F selectmen approve fire department and police vehicle purchases

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — The selectmen gave their approval to both a $155,000 financing package for a fire department brush truck and an approximate $41,700 bid for a 2018 Ford Expedition to serve the police department, during a meeting on Sept. 11.

Last month the board approved a near $137,000 bid from Fouts Brothers Fire Equipment in Georgia for a new brush truck to replace the fire department’s 1981 model. A brush truck is a smaller firefighting vehicle with a mounted tank, pump and hose often used to fight brush and grass fires.

Fire department officials and the selectmen’s protection committee considered a new cab and chassis on the old body and looked at grant funding, but found a new vehicle was more cost-effective and a six-year lease would work — after being unsuccessful in securing a grant — with the new brush truck scheduled to be available to the town next spring.

Town Manager Jack Clukey said many banks are not in the leasing businesses and while bids were solicited, only Androscoggin Bank and Gorham Leasing submitted financing packages for the fire brush truck. “It’s a niche,” Clukey said.

The selectmen approved a six-year lease with Androscoggin Bank with a 3.17 percent interest rate for an annual payment of $25,855 and total cost of $155,131. These figures are slightly lower than the 3.62 percent interest rate from Gorham Leasing for annual payments of $26,026 and $156,157 total. Funding for the vehicle is included in the fire department’s capital budget.

A $41,711 purchase of a 2018 Ford Expedition from Prouty Ford in town for the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department, to replace a 2011 Crown Victoria with over 110,000 miles, was also approved.

The Prouty Ford bid was higher than the $39,846 of Quirk Ford of Augusta and $40,181 of Darling’s Ford of Bangor.

“It’s hard to beat the in-town relationship with the business,” Police Chief Ryan Reardon said. He said last month the department had a problem with a vehicle shortly before the Dover-Foxcroft Shiretown Homecoming parade and Prouty Ford was able to get the problem fixed and the vehicle back on the road right away.

“Based on pick-up, proximity to service, warrantee, offered equipment, I am recommending that the bid go to Prouty Ford,” Reardon wrote in his purchase proposal. “While this is not the lowest bid, the convenience to our department as well as support for a local business owner is worth the $1,700 in total difference. Our department’s relationship with Prouty is in excellent standing. Even on short notice they have been there to service our fleet with more than reasonable prices.”

Reardon said the Ford Expedition should be available in six to eight weeks. “There will be a couple of weeks to equip it and get it ready for service,” he said.

The police department also has a 2008 Ford Explorer officers no longer have a need for. The selectmen approved a $7,000 offer by the Piscataquis County Commissioners to sell the vehicle to the county.

In other business, the board accepted the resignation of Tom Sands from the planning board after a near decade of service. Louise Ringle was appointed to fill the vacancy to complete Sands’ term through June 30, 2018.

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