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Preparing for disaster
DIXFIELD- Jim White, head of the water department, requested of selectmen last week that they allow him to begin seeking out the purchase of a generator to keep the town in water in case of a natural disaster, citing the flood of 1987.
“I can’t fail in my business,” noted White. “We have no backup right now and, even though we may never use a generator, we can’t be caught off guard. We wouldn’t be able to keep water pumping for households, let alone a fire emergency.”
Selectman Hart Daley inquired whether White had spoken to the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and what they could do to assist financially or with equipment.
White informed selectmen that currently there are four generators in the state of Maine that are owned by the EMA, but you have to be pretty high on the list in order to request one during an emergency. As for any grants, White noted, “There is no money out there. I’ve had someone looking into funding and she can’t find anything.”
White would like to see the town purchase a generator to help themselves be independent of CMP if such a need arose. “I have Mexico all set up so that if we were in a disaster situation, we wouldn’t have to rely on CMP. Right now, if Dixfield were to be under water, we have no way of keeping the water pumping.”
White believes that by saving upwards of $20,000 through the department’s capital funding budget, the town could afford a generator.
“I fight with myself every year during budget season to put in for exactly what I think it’s going to cost to operate,” noted White. “Then, I continue to fight myself on every project and try to save money. I don’t use all that’s in the capital fund each year and I’d like to see the money come from that account.”
Chairman of the Board, Mack Gill, stated, “I think it’s time we stop pushing this down the road. I propose we start getting figures.”
Selectman Belskis motioned for White to begin putting together figures for the board to look at and present the numbers at an upcoming meeting. The board unanimously approved.