Farber returns to Falmouth council leadership

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FALMOUTH — At their first meeting since the June 14 election, town councilors on Monday elected a new chairwoman and vice chairman.

The Town Council also agreed to order two new trucks for the fire department, slightly ahead of the purchasing schedule, as a cost-saving measure.

And following an executive session at the end of the meeting, councilors voted to update Town Manager Nathan Poore’s contract. Poore was hired in 2006 at a base annual salary of $101,000, and his contract renews annually. It was last updated in 2008 with an attached memorandum.

The new contract incorporates those changes, and includes cost-of-living adjustments, for a new annual base salary of $120,655.

New leadership

Councilor Karen Farber was unanimously elected chairwoman. Farber, who also served as chairwoman from 2014 to 2015, succeeds David Goldberg, who chose not to seek re-election to the council.

Councilor Caleb Hemphill, who was not in attendance Monday night, was unanimously elected vice chairman. He succeeds Russell Anderson, who, like Goldberg, did not seek re-election.

The School Board, which was meeting at the same time as the council at the Elementary School, also elected its leadership. The board unanimously re-elected Lucy Tucker as chairwoman; Danielle Tracy was elected to continue serving as vice chairwoman.

Fire trucks

The town’s capital improvement plan includes replacing a fire engine for the Winn Road station next year and a 95-foot tower truck in two years. The engine is from 2001, while the tower truck is from 1999.

Replacing the fire engine was already built into the fiscal year 2017 budget, while replacing the tower was slated to be in the fiscal year 2019 budget.

But Fire-EMS Chief Howard Rice Jr. told the council the town would save $50,000 by ordering both trucks together. He also said the town could sell the trucks it now owns for a profit, and asked that the tower be purchased in 2018.

The original price for the truck was $465,000 and the original price for the tower was $1 million. In a memo to the council, Rice said the price of the truck would be just under $446,000 and the price of the tower would be just under $971,000.

The 6-0 decision by the council approved funding the purchase through the CIP as well as a supplemental appropriation from unassigned fund balance, with the possibility of borrowing through financing.

Poore said it’s possible borrowing won’t be necessary, depending on the unassigned fund balance and how much of a return the town gets on the trucks now in the fleet.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

FarberFalmouth Town Hall

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.