Topsham board affirms borrowing for ladder, plow trucks

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TOPSHAM — The Board of Selectmen on Sept. 8 unanimously declared its intent to borrow funds for a Fire Department ladder truck and a Public Works Department plow truck.

That declaration stipulates that in the event the town must use money from its budget to pay for any expenses regarding those vehicles before it receives the bond proceeds in late October, it will be allowed to reimburse itself from bond proceeds without violating any Internal Revenue Service codes, according to Town Manager Cornell Knight.

While it is unlikely the town will need that provision, he said, “it’s just in case.”

Voters at Town Meeting in May approved borrowing funds for the trucks. A $200,000 down payment on the nearly $790,000 ladder truck includes $50,000 from taxes and $150,000 from the fire truck reserve account. The nearly $590,000 that remains will be paid through bonding.

Fire Chief Brian Stockdale said earlier this year that his department’s 1987 vehicle cannot be refurbished and is a drain on maintenance expenses.

A down payment for the nearly $133,000 plow truck comes from taxes, and the $100,000 balance is to be paid through bonding. The vehicle replaces a 1980s model.

The town is borrowing a total of nearly $690,000 from the Maine Municipal Bond Bank. The trucks have been ordered and contracts signed, Knight said. He expects the plow truck to be delivered this December, followed by the ladder truck in early February 2012.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.