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Final hurdle cleared for joint firetruck contract
RUMFORD -- Sometime within the next 30 to 45 days, Rumford and Mexico will take delivery of a 2008 Pierce Aerial truck from Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus Inc. of Union Grove, AL for $498,800.
The Alabama dealer, in return, accepted the trade-in of Rumford's 1990 E-One Aerial for $20,000 and Mexico's 1995 pumper tanker for $40,000.
Rumford Fire Chief Bob Chase noted that time following the action taken Thursday when both the Rumford and Mexico selectmen unanimously approved a contract to jointly purchase a quint firetruck, an apparatus that serves the dual purpose of an engine and a ladder truck (105-foot ladder). Quint refers to the five functions it provides -- pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device, and ground ladders.
Chase said the truck, which will carry a two-year warranty, will also be lettered and will have eight new tires, with the addition of a heat shield and pump heater.
Mexico Selectman Reggie Arsenault thanked the fire chiefs for their efforts to put the project together.
Mexico Fire Chief Gary Wentzell commended both boards for putting faith into the fire chiefs that this could succeed.
"This board and your board, the two chiefs and two town managers, the spirit of cooperation, you know, it does show it can be done," said Rumford Selectman Jolene Lovejoy. "It can be improved. We can work together. I hope this spirit of cooperation continues and we see more joint ventures. You know, it's your survival and it's our survival."
Chase said the contract has language in it and a funding formula that allows other River Valley towns to join the agreement for ladder truck coverage.
Following the 5-0 vote by Rumford selectmen to approve the contract, Mexico selectmen convened and voted 4-0 to okay it.
Rumford Town Manager Carlo Puiia said he was pleased with the work of the fire chiefs and cooperation of the two boards. "It just shows how quickly we can put an agreement together when it's really needed."
Rumford is paying 80 percent of the cost of the truck; Mexico 20 percent. A provision will be made for surrounding towns to come in, with the cost based of assessment and usage of the truck.
Chase said the contract states that all participating towns will contribute annually to its continued maintenance and eventual replacement. He said the contributions for maintenance and capital reserve accounts will be based initially on $35,000 per year total contribution, with each town's portion defined by an included funding model.
Chase said their department has most all the equipment needed to outfit the quint. The truck would be housed in the temporary building in the municipal parking lot across the street from the Rumford Fire Department.
A day earlier, following a recent job performance review, selectmen unanimously voted to extend Puiia's contract by a year. It was to expire in 2013.
Selectman Brad Adley noted that this is the third town manager he's worked with since joining the board. "He's (Puiia) is doing an excellent job."
Puiia, who had previously served as the town's longtime tax collector, was hired in June 2009 by selectmen from a field of 24 candidates who applied for the job.
Adley is the only member of the current board who served with the board that hired Puiia.