FARMINGTON — Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday to get quotes on the cost of replacing a Fire and Rescue engine and determine the cost of keeping another engine on the road for five more years.

Engine 1 is a 2002 vehicle with frame and electrical issues. The estimated cost of replacing it, provided by three vendors, was between $675,000 and $790,000.

Engine 2 is a 1995 vehicle due to be replaced in 2020. Its pump and plumbing need replacing, estimated at up to $75,000. Estimates to replace it are between $565,000 and $690,000.

There is $354,551.89 in the fire apparatus equipment reserve account.

Replacing both trucks at once would provide new units with an estimated life of 20 to 25 years each. Using the reserve account funds and bonding the remainder for 10 years would see the bond paid off prior to replacement of Tower 3, due in 2030. The department could also begin putting money into the reserve account in anticipation of the Tower 3 replacement.

Delaying the replacement of Engine 2 would use up all of the equipment reserve funds. If a bond were used for the remaining cost of replacing Engine 1, money that could go toward the reserve account might be used for bond costs, leaving no money set aside when Engine 2 needs replacing. It could also result in less money set aside for the Tower 3 replacement.


Board Chairman Joshua Bell said he had a concern with both trucks being on the same replacement cycle.

Town Manager Richard Davis asked why trucks with a 25-year life expectancy are only lasting 16 or 17 years.

Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell said it could be because of what is put on the roads in winter.

“The metals used may not be the same,” he said.

Capt. TD Hardy said lead was taken out of paint in that era.

“Each of the three vendors we approached has a different way to prevent that,” he said.


Davis said replacing both trucks now makes the most sense.

Hardy said one company had offered to go over Engine 2 to get a more realistic estimate of what would be needed to keep it on the road. Driving it there would allow them to put it on the lift and check out all the systems. It would cost a couple hundred dollars.

Selectman Scott Landry said the public would be happier with a repair of Engine 2.

Selectmen Matthew Smith and Michael Fogg agreed.

Selectman Stephan Bunker said he would replace both if money were no option.

“Replacing two will be a harder sell,” he said.

Davis said if the town could put $200,000 in the reserve account in each of the next five years there would be $1 million available for Engine 2 replacement.


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