Police & Fire

D-F select vacancy to be filled at the polls in November

DOVER-FOXCROFT — A vacancy on the Dover-Foxcroft Select Board will be filled on the November ballot, as the town officials signed the paperwork for the municipal election to take place at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 2, in conjunction with a state ballot. Formal approval came during a June 28 meeting.

Earlier in the month, the board accepted the resignation of member William “Ernie” Thomas, effective as of June 15.

In his resignation letter, Thomas said that due to taking a job abroad he will no longer be able to fulfill the responsibilities associated with the elected position.

 “I will add that it’s been a great privilege to serve the town of Dover-Foxcroft,” Thomas wrote. “I have enjoyed working with all involved in the running of the town; to the last they have served the town’s best interest with integrity. I believe Dover-Foxcroft is very fortunate to have so many exceptional professionals discharging the duties of town government and wish you success in all future endeavors.”

Thomas’ term was set to run through June 30, 2023. His successor elected in early November will serve for nearly 20 months.

In other business, the select board formally signed the paperwork for a USDA loan and interim financing for Dover-Foxcroft Fire Department vehicles and equipment. 

The town will receive a $1.4 million community facilities direct loan from USDA to upgrade the vehicle fleet and firefighter safety equipment through the purchase of a used ladder truck, a new fire engine and 17 breathing apparatus units. 

After recently replacing the ladder truck, the fire department will switch out a 1999 pumper truck for a new model sometime in 2022 with a purchase agreement during a June 14 select board meeting.

“[Fire Chief Joe Guyott and Lt. Brian Gaudet] have been doing their homework. They got some information together from [Allegiance Fire & Rescue of Walpole, Massachusetts] and other vendors,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said during the June 14 session.

Allegiance Fire & Rescue will manufacture a Pierce Enforcer 1500 GPM Top Mount Pumper for $702,965. If all of $682,241 is remitted to the company within 15 days of a fully executed contract and performance bonds, the balance due at delivery will be zero dollars for a savings of $20,724. Delivery is estimated to be in June or July of next year.

The selectboard signed a bond anticipation note from Androscoggin Bank — the only lending institution to submit a bid — for up to $1.4 million as needed at a 1.7 percent rate through Sept. 1, 2022. The bond will be in place to assist while awaiting the USDA funding.

“This is part of the financing piece,” Clukey said. “Back in February we went to town meeting for $1.4 million for the fire apparatus.

The ladder truck, the first piece of the expenditures, was delivered in early June.The second piece is the pumper truck and the third component is airpacks.

Following the 128 to 13 affirmative vote — approximately 90.8 percent of those present — at an early February special town meeting, Dover-Foxcroft officials proceeded with a plan to purchase the new ladder truck for the fire department.

The vote was for a $1.4 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan to immediately replace the 1993 ladder truck, and start switching out a 1999 pumper truck with a new, custom model, plus purchase replacement airpacks. Of the $1.4 million, approximately $590,000 will be for the ladder truck, $690,000 for the pumper truck and $140,000 for airpacks.

The estimated interest rate and term are 2.125 percent for 30 years. The maximum interest to be paid over three decades is $507,540 for a combined total cost of $1,907,540.

The motor blew in December in the ladder truck the department has owned since 2015. Due to the age of the vehicle, a replacement motor is difficult to find and even more difficult to obtain a warranty for an extended period of time. New ladder trucks cost more than $1 million.

The 1993 ladder truck had been the only such vehicle in the region, needed to reach the top of the tallest buildings such as The Mill apartments, Foxcroft Academy dorm, Northern Light Mayo Regional Hospital roof, Piscataquis County Courthouse and Piscataquis County Ice Arena.

Gaudet began looking at dealers across the country in early December and a 2012 truck with a 100-foot ladder — which had been in service in Virginia Beach — was located at Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus. Guyotte, Assistant Chief Jerry Rollins and firefighter Timothy Perkins traveled to northeastern Alabama to inspect the ladder truck in person.

After some negotiating, a $590,000 price was settled on with the 2012 ladder truck to be delivered to Dover-Foxcroft. The current truck was included in the transaction by being sold for $40,000 and transported south. The newer truck comes with a three-year warranty that covers all components valued at $3,000 or more, and needed warranty work can be performed in Auburn.

The plan was for fire department officials to put in an order for a new, customized fire truck to replace the 1999 pumper. The department purchased the new 1999 pumper before the turn of the century.

Seventeen airpacks are 29 years old and are not as safety compliant as current models. The department has applied for FEMA funds, but wanted to secure the extra funding in case the application is turned down.

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