Four-year plan chosen to pay for Livermore fire truck

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Livermore Fire Chief Donald Castonguay explains why a new fire truck is needed during a special meeting Tuesday, April 12. Next to him are diagrams of the truck. Voters approved the purchase. Pam Harnden / Livermore Falls Announcer

LIVERMORE — At a special town meeting on Tuesday evening April 12, about two dozen voters approved the purchase of a fire truck and funding up to $382,373 of its cost.

There will be a 10% increase May 1 in the price of the truck, buying it by then would save about $70,000, Fire Chief Donald Castonguay said ahead of the vote.

Diagrams of a Pierce custom cab fire truck are seen at a special Livermore town meeting on Tuesday, April 12. Voters approved the purchase of the truck which will fit into the existing fire station and will be able to carry all the rescue tools. Pam Harnden / Livermore Falls Announcer

The Pierce Custom Cab Truck has room for all rescue equipment and would fit into the station.

In January, Castonguay told Selectpersons that ongoing Engine I issues had intensified his plans to purchase a new truck. The problem appears to be in the modules, which cause the truck to stall while pumping and the problem was not found, Castonguay said at the time.

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There’s no room for the Jaws of Life in the truck now, and Castonguay said he sometimes had trouble finding two drivers. “I don’t really want to make the Engine II a front-line truck because it’s too valuable as a tank truck,” he noted.

“If we pay everything when ordering [the Pierce truck]they’re going to withdraw $18,000 and some change,” he told Selectpersons on March 29. “They’re going to give us $20,000 to [Engine 1].”

Voters approved $100,000 at last year’s town hall, the second installment of a three-year plan to purchase a new truck. Voters are due to consider the final installment in the municipal assembly’s referendum vote on April 26.

“The Livermore Fire Department has changed since its inception 75 years ago this year,” Castonguay noted. The department was called more than 160 times last year, is now being called in many different situations, mostly due to the high volume of traffic on Route 4, he said.

The Pierce truck should last 30 years or more, can be repaired in Auburn, Castonguay noted. Two other offers received were under $2,000, he said.

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During the regular meeting of the select committee held after the special meeting, a four-year lease option for financing the truck was approved.

Initially, Androscoggin Savings Bank offered three-, five-, and seven-year lease options. Coach and firefighter Scott Richmond had asked for numbers for a four-year plan.

In 2018, Livermore purchased a snow plow truck and machinery using a similar deal with the bank.

Borrowing more than $100,000 through a general obligation surety requires legal advice, unlike leasing, which saves about $1,000 in attorney fees, said Lena Hann of Androscoggin Savings Bank to Selectpersons at a presentation in July.

The payments due annually on July 7 will be $101,110. Payments over three years would have been $132,558, those over five years $82,419 and those over seven years $60,979.

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At the end of the lease, the city can buy the truck for $1.

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