Topsham selectmen OK 3 vehicle acquisitions

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TOPSHAM — The Board of Selectmen on Aug. 17 unanimously approved the purchase of three vehicles for the public works and fire departments.

Using funds authorized in the new budget, the town is buying a 2017 GMC Sierra pickup truck from O’Connor Auto Park in Augusta for nearly $38,000. Subtracting the trade-in value of about $2,900 for a 2003 pickup, the net total comes to nearly $35,000, less than the $38,000 budgeted for the public works vehicle.

The truck should be available in two or three weeks.

Of the five dealers the town solicited for bids, only O’Connor responded, according to a memo from Public Works Director Dennis Cox to Town Manager Rich Roedner.

The town will also buy a 2017 Trackless MT7 sidewalk plow, which includes a snow blower, for nearly $135,000 from H.P. Fairfield in Scarborough. The price was less than the $140,000 budgeted.

The vehicle, due to arrive in about a month, replaces Topsham’s 17-year-old sidewalk plow, Roedner said Aug. 18. Since the old and new plows are the same brand, the current attachments will work with the new public works vehicle.

“We will hold onto the old unit as a backup unit, and continue to use it, but it just doesn’t have the power anymore as the new one will,” Roedner explained.

The town, which received one bid for the purchase, saves about $20,000 by being able to share equipment between vehicles, according to Cox.

With both vehicles under budget, funds left over will remain unspent, Roedner said.

Finally, Topsham is purchasing a one-ton 2018 GMC Sierra pickup for the fire department to replace a 1994 brush truck. The vehicle costs about $31,000, and the nearly $14,000 left in the budget line will go toward outfitting the vehicle, including a light bar, lettering, a front brush guard, front hitch, and rear guard protection.

That vehicle should arrive in six to eight weeks.

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.