2016-12-23 / Community

News Briefs

OVER BUDGET — When crafting this year’s annual town budget, the Kennebunk Board of Selectmen appropriated, and voters approved, $220,000 to buy a new ambulance. However, every one of five bids opened Nov. 17 came in over budget, with the least expensive offer being $240,695 from Bulldog Fire & Emergency Apparatus of Woodville, Massachusetts.

Also in the mix were Minuteman Fire & Rescue Apparatus of Walpole, Massachusetts ($243,549); Autotronics of Bangor ($252,211); Greenwood Emergency Vehicles of North Attleboro, Massachusetts ($258,990); and Sugarloaf Ambulance & Rescue Vehicles of Wilton ($263,504).

“I was rather surprised at the spread of prices,” Fire Chief Jeffrey Rowe said, suggesting that some of the lower bids “may not have met spec.”

Selectmen agreed unanimously at their Dec. 13 meeting to reject all bids and try again with a revised set of specifications.

“Do we feel confident we can get what we want within the budget,” Selectman Chris Cluff asked. “Did we shoot for the moon this time?”

Rowe said he requested bids on an F series frame, made for pickup trucks, rather than an E series frame, designed for vans. That, he said, probably added “about $30,000” to the cost.

“If we go back to the van, I think that will correct it,” he said, adding as a word of future fiscal caution, “but the vans won’t be available forever.”

That type of ambulance chassis is being phased out, he said.

“I don’t want to feel like we are going short change the ambulance,” Selectman Ed Karytko said, adding what, for him, sounded like an unusual comment. “If that were the case, I might say, let’s find the extra $20,000”

“Did you take your meds today?” asked Cluff.

“Since this meeting is on video, I’d recommend bringing this clip back when the bids come back [again] and it is [still] $245,000,” Selectman Shiloh Schulte told Rowe.

DONATIONS — It’s that time of year when giving is in the spirit of the season, and local towns have seen some evidence of residents’ generosity.

At its Dec. 13 board meeting, the Kennebunk Board of Selectmen accepted $450 from Pat Hansen, owner of Hearth & Soul, located at 35 Main Street.

Hanson donated 10 percent of her sales from Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, to the town’s emergency fuel assistance fund, which helps town residents who may not meet the strict qualifications for general assistance aid, but nonetheless find themselves in need during the winter season.

Selectmen also accepted $100 for the police department, donated by the Parsons Beach Association. Parsons Beach is private property, which the owners allow the public to use.

The police department provides manpower to manage the site’s very limited free parking.

ROADS TO NOWHERE — Kennebunk Selectmen have voted to abandon the town’s interest in 14 so-called paper roads — streets paid out on subdivision plans but never built.

There are 23 such rights of way in Kennebunk, most dating back several decades.

Twenty years ago, selectmen elected to retain all 23, but a sunset provision in the state law that enabled that decision is due to expire in 2017.

That compelled selectmen to look at the issue once more. At its Dec. 13 meeting, the board voted unanimously to retain nine of the roads, adding two to a list of seven originally agreed to in November.

Those seven are being kept primarily in case of future needs for drainage. The two added “streets” both offer potential ocean access (they have been said to run directly into the sea) and are identified at the York County Registry of Deeds as “Charles Parsons Estate” (Book 8, Page 9), and “Cottage Lots of Robie Wentworth, Kennebunk Beach” (Book 10, Page 44).

The list of other paper streets retained and abandoned have similarly defined by book and page, and reportedly have not been surveyed by the time to determine exact boundaries.

Both lists are available at town hall.

Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington. He can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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