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Rumford, Mexico voters okay fire truck agreement
RUMFORD/MEXICO -- With a strong "yes" vote (263-95) at the polls on June 12, Mexico citizens joined Rumford residents in approving an agreement for the joint purchase for a quint fire truck (combination ladder/pumper) to be shared among the two towns.
Mexico Town Manager John Madigan said Thursday that all that remains is to clarify the agreement. He said the Maine Interlocal Act specifies that such an agreement between towns must include a termination clause. Once that has been added, selectmen from both boards will have a joint meeting to finalize the agreement. The $498,000 deal for a 2008 Pierce aerial truck from Brindlee Mountain, AL, is expected to go through in a matter of days. Madigan said delivery is expected within a month. It will be housed at the Rumford Fire Department.
The aerial ladder truck will replace one in Rumford that is no longer certified and one in Mexico that will likely need replacement in a couple of years.
Mexico will pay $110,000, or about 20 percent of the total cost, using $40,000 from trading in of a pumper and $70,000 from capital reserve.
Fire Chief Bob Chase responded that the cost share for the purchase and maintenance will be 80 percent Rumford, 20 percent Mexico, which is reflected in the assessed value of the two towns, the population and the ladder usage.
On April 30, Chase and Mexico Fire Chief Gary Wentzell flew flew to Alabama to look at a 2008 Pierce quint fire truck -- 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.
A month before, selectmen from Mexico and Rumford agreed unanimously in a straw poll to share in the purchase of a newer fire truck to replace aging ladder trucks in both fire departments.
When it came time to negotiate, the initial price tag was $599,000, but the salesman reduced it to $550,000. Also negotiated with the company, Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus of Union Grove, was paying $51,000 with a trade-in of Rumford's 22-year-old ladder truck, which has been out of service for a while as they opted not to make the $65,000 in repairs, as well as Mexico's 1995 Engine II. This would include picking up and transporting the vehicles.
The company is offering a two-year warranty, would letter the truck, put on better tires, add a pull-out tray for the large diameter hose and deliver.
Chase said he envisions the collection of $35,000 a year in an account for maintenance as well as toward the purchase of a replacement.
He said the money for Rumford's portion would come from monies approved in the capital reserve fund. He added, “I have an engine due in 2013 for replacement (Engine IV) and another one due in 2014 (tanker), and then the ladder, had it survived, was due four to five years thereafter, so we were looking at a million dollars in trucks potential for purchase in the next five to seven years.”
Chase said the purchase of the quint will fit into the existing capital plan because it would mean that Engine IV would not be replaced.
Before this truck would be purchased, it would require updated certification for the ladder as well as a pump test.
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.