2016-09-30 / Community

News Briefs

Selectmen unanimously approve brush truck purchase

ARUNDEL – Selectmen in Arundel voted unanimously Sept. 26 to buy a new “brush truck” for the fire department at a cost of $115,755.

The truck, to be built by Industrial Protection Services of Wilmington, Massachusetts, on a Ford F-550 chassis, was the lowest of three bids, which ranged as high as $135,087.

Asked by selectmen to explain the disparity, Fire Chief Bruce Mullen said, “They did not give me any breakdowns. All they gave us was the two bottom lines.”

Mullen said he was confident all thee trucks offered met his bid specifications. Besides being cheaper, IPS was the only one of the three bidders to offer requested add-ons, including a particular driver’s seat configuration and length of booster reel hose.

Money for the purchase will come from a tax increment financing (TIF) account set up with Central Maine Power for utility safety.

“Part of the TIF requirement once we entered into it was to provide fire fighting equipment,” Town Manager Keith Trefethen said. “With the CMP corridor through town, we felt the TIF would be beneficial to us to buy the necessary equipment to fight any fires there, in the event they do happen.”

Under most TIF arrangements, municipalities direct a certain percentage of tax revenue associated with new development back to the business, while retaining the remainder to be dedicated to specific purposes allowed by state law, such as construction and maintenance of infrastructure, or promoting economic development.

According to Trefethen, the TIF account currently has $82,125, and is due to be augmented with $49,200 as part of this year’s TIF cycle, for a total of $122,325.

Trefethen said the town will also be due a $3,500 rebate directly from Ford Motor Company.

As a member of the fire department, Selectman Jason Nadeau abstained from the vote.

According to Mullen, it will take Industrial Protection Services about nine months to build and deliver the truck.

— Wm. Duke Harrington

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