Topsham selectmen OK ambulance, fire engine purchases

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TOPSHAM — A new ambulance and fire engine will soon be joining the Fire and Rescue Department’s fleet.

The Board of Selectmen on Sept. 1 unanimously authorized the purchases. The town will place orders at the end of this month or early October, Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Stockdale said in an interview the following day.

Town Meeting in May authorized borrowing up to $1.5 million (including interest) for the two vehicles. Purchases of a loader and three plow trucks for the Public Works Department, which the Board of Selectmen approved last month, are also being funded by the bond.

The price of every vehicle has come in at or below the amount budgeted. The engine, for which the town budgeted $590,000, will cost about $559,000, while the ambulance will cost $220,000, as budgeted, Stockdale said.

The Emergency 1 engine and Horton ambulance will be purchased new from Greenwood Emergency Vehicles, which has a local office in Brunswick. The engine has a 20-year life expectancy and replaces a 1996 vehicle, and the ambulance has a 10-year expectancy and replaces a 2004 model.

The winning bid for the John Deere loader was nearly $119,000, less than the $125,000 budgeted, which will change the amount the town borrows, Town Manager Rich Roedner said last month.

The three Western Star plow trucks were also under budget, with $525,000 allocated for the set. The winning bid came in at about $429,000.

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.