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Rumford purchases new loader
RUMFORD -- The Board of Selectmen Thursday accepted the lowest of four bids, spending $144,439 to purchase a 2012 front-end bucket loader with a trade-in of the 1997 Public Works loader.
The Caterpillar 938 loader will be purchased from Southworth-Milton of Scarborough, keeping the town with three loaders. This action was part of the capital plan. The vote was 3-1 (Selectman Jeremy Volkernick was absent), with Board Chairman Greg Buccina casting the lone dissenting vote.
Buccina said he would not vote in favor because he first had questions he wanted answered, but Public Works Superintendent Andy Russell was not present to answer them. Selectman Brad Adley also had questions.
Later in the meeting, upon Buccina's request, a workshop will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15 to better understand how the town's bidding process works. The board also asked Puiia that department heads attend the meeting.
Adley asked Town Manager Carlo Puiia if it was feasible to lease a loader. Puiia said he didn't think so due to the amount of daily use.
Buccina said he wanted the board to convene a workshop on the bid process to discuss how bids are presented, how the process works, how it could be enhanced and the feasibility of working with Mexico for joint purchases. He said he hoped to learn how to minimize costs when bids are unsealed.
"Are we doing the best we can with it?" he asked.
In other business, Kevin Saisi of the Comprehensive Plan Committee updated the board on its progress to date.
As of December, he said the committee will have worked on the plan for a year with guidance from planner John Maloney of the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments in Auburn.
Saisi said their terms are to expire on Dec. 15 and sought reappointments from selectmen to finish the work.
Additionally, because of the committee's efforts to update the comprehensive plan, Saisi said committee members want the town to use more diligence to accomplish the plan's goals than was done with the previous plan. "Their concern is that the plan not gather dust."
He asked the board to consider reappointing the committee's 10 members, who meet once a month, excepting the past few months when he said they either didn't have a quorum or encountered a locked door at the municipal building.
Puiia said the reappointment matter is already on the board's Nov. 15 agenda.
Selectman Jolene Lovejoy asked what the committee had accomplished in 11 months and when they'd complete the plan, before considering reappointments.
Lovejoy and Buccina said they want the plan to go before town meeting voters in June.
"We just need to create some urgency," said Buccina.
When pressed by a resident to answer Lovejoy's initial question, Saisi said that without consulting Maloney, he believed they are more than halfway through the work. Then he estimated it at 70 percent or more.