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Town to consider contracting mowing
MEXICO -- The Board of Selectmen are exploring the advantages of contracting the mowing at the Mexico Recreation Park.
At the regular board meeting on April 12, resident Todd Piper, who lives down the road from the recreation facility, originally had proposed a verbal bid $3,000 to contract with the town for mowing, then adjusted it to $5,000 after learning about additional mowing that would be involved.
Recreation Director Greg Arsenault talked about what is involved with the department taking care of the fields. He has two helpers at 20 hours a week assisting him from May to the second week in August, then Arsenault mows the fields by himself into October.
Selectmen debated that perhaps contracting would enable the spares to have more time to make repairs in the park, or it would allow the town to cut the hours of the spares.
Arsenault then took offense at a statement that the toys were in disrepair.
"I don't know why people say they're all broken and are broken. The park is not in bad shape. I don't know why everybody keeps saying it's in rough shape. I call some of these people who have their family reunions and write some letters to everybody and tell you guys exactly how it is. It would be a whole lot better if everybody if everybody came down there and enjoyed it for the summer instead of sitting here at a meeting and telling me that this person called and said the grass was high or..."
Board Chairman Barbara Laramee responded, "I personally went to a couple of events where the grass was high."
Arsenault said, "The grass was not high last summer, at all."
"And I tell you right now, those potties were disgusting," said Laramee. "There's stuff that's not getting done."
"The porta potties are not my problem," said Arsenault.
"Not his problem. Hello, it's full. Come and get it," said Laramee. "That's your problem."
Resident Dr. Albert Aniel said, "I think we would agree that having a wonderful recreation park would be a great asset for our town and would be a great advertisement for our town. You could see that as part of an economic development package. So maybe, under the Budget Committee, we might want parts of those funds go to help with the rec park."
Laramee said that would be a good idea.
Selectman Byron Ouellette made a motion to have the board put together a proposal of what's necessary to be done and then have Piper look it over and see if it works for him to put in a bid.
Selectman Peter Merrill second the motion, noting, "It's not saying we will do it, but it's giving someone something we can compare both sides to; what the job is, what it entails. It might be eye opening to us, too. We don't know unless we look."
That vote was 2-2, wth Selectman Reggie Arsenault and Richie Philbrick voting against. Laramee then voted yes as the tiebreaker, noting, "This is a just a discussion in case people choose to go that way. It may not be feasible for us to do it."
In other business, selectmen from Mexico and Byron agreed on a 15-year deal where the Mexico Fire Department will provide fire coverage for Byron.
The agreement calls for Byron to turn over a 2005 fire engine to Mexico. In return, the Mexico Fire Department will provide fire coverage for 15 years. At the end of that period, Town Manager John Madigan said his town's department will know the costs for providing fire coverage and the cost per year will be determined.
Both boards believe it is a win-win situation for the towns.
Byron Selectman Patrick Knapp-Veilleux said several residents from his town want to become members of Mexico's call force. He said, too, that Byron has eight or nine sets of approved turnout gear for volunteers.
Madigan said the contract calls for Byron to turn over any firefighting equipment it has. Also, he said as the municipal budget is being developed, he has increased the call force pay and training lines by $1,000 to include any Byron firefighters who join the department.
Mexico also agreed to place an amended article on the town meeting warrant that, if approved, would allow firefighters from other towns to serve on the Mexico Fire Department.
Madigan said the bylaw amendment and the proposal to provide coverage for Byron will be articles on Mexico's town meeting warrant on June 14. A public hearing will be held on the entire town meeting warrant at least 10 days before the referendum vote.