Readfield voters on Nov. 3 will see one local question on the ballot.

It asks whether voters want to issue $424,000 in bonds to finance a new firetruck. The maximum interest rate is estimated at 1.9 percent.

Both the Select Board and the Budget Committee recommend approval of the proposal, which voters will see, as usual, in the form of a secret ballot.

Fire Chief Lee Q. Mank said the money would fund the purchase of a class A commercial chassis pumper to replace a 1986 class A pumper that has leaky water tanks and a rusty body, reflecting 30 years of service.

“Firetrucks are all aluminum bodies now with plastic water tanks,” he said. “Hopefully now they’ll last 40-plus years.”

The new fire apparatus would carry a 1,500-gallon tank.

In the most recent fire equipment purchase, the town raised $160,000 in March 2010 for a used 2002 Freightliner/American LaFrance heavy rescue vehicle to replace a 1976 GMC pumper that had been converted into a heavy rescue/squad truck. The latter vehicle was retired.

A list of the department’s fleet is available on its website at http://www.readfieldfiredepartment.org/. Mank said the 1986 vehicle is listed there as a 1987 one, but its chassis was completed in 1986.

Mank said the Fire Department’s capital improvement plan called for replacing the vehicle next year, but then he learned that it takes a year to get a firetruck delivered once it’s been ordered.

That sped up the plans to seek approval for bonding to get a new one.

No objections to the proposal were raised Monday night at a public hearing.

“The 30-year-old truck is showing its age,” Mank said. “I don’t know how much longer my water tank on the old one is going to keep holding water.”

He also said the older vehicle has only lap belts for the firefighters. A new vehicle would have shoulder harnesses as well as other safety equipment for firefighters.

Mank said the amount of money proposed to be bonded resulted from talks with numerous manufacturers.

Readfield Finance Officer Teresa Shaw said the estimated maximum interest rate came from discussions with the town’s bond counsel.

The Readfield Fire Department has 32 active members and five junior firefighters.

“For this area, it’s a really good fire number,” Mank said. “Right now I’m very fortunate.”

Mank said anyone with questions about the truck or the proposal can contact him at 458-9495.

In June 2013, Readfield voters rejected a proposal to put an addition on the fire station.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.