An Alna fire truck may get a new body and a new use for yard work, the truck’s winning bidder, a Westbrook man said.
“Nothing very exciting,” Paul Cloutier said about his plans for the truck he found on Craigslist. Cloutier’s $4,300 bid was the highest of 10 that Alna selectmen unsealed at their meeting earlier in the evening. No bidders attended.
The truck’s low mileage led him to bid on it, Cloutier said. He might put a stake body on it and use it around the yard, he said.
Alna’s new, nearly $300,000 fire truck arrived in June. It replaced the GMC.
Before selectmen opened the bids, First Selectman David Abbott announced that he didn’t expect the board to make a decision that night. Selectmen thought they might see bids from fire departments, possibly in Washington County, where another piece of fire department equipment went earlier this year. The defibrillator, no longer needed after the First Responders program ended, went to Pleasant River Ambulance Service.
Third Selectman Doug Baston had informed Washington County that the GMC was up for bid.
Selectmen have said they were open to passing up the highest bid if a lower one came from a Washington County fire department, or any other that needed a fire truck. But, except for Starks Fire Chief Steve Rackliff, who bid $1,251, no bidders cited ties to fire departments. And selectmen said they couldn’t tell from Rackliff’s bid if he wanted the truck for his local department or for his own use.
In a telephone interview Dec. 3, Rackliff said that, had his bid won, he had planned to offer his department the truck as a donation. The department has a pumper truck; a former ambulance as a utility vehicle; and a recent boost in membership from three to 17. “So I thought we could use another truck,” he said. He’s been looking on Craigslist for a good deal, and will continue to.
“I was trying to buy that cheap,” Rackliff said about the Alna truck. “I figured … if it worked out, it would be great; if not, we’ll try again somewhere else.”
Alna officials planned to contact Cloutier to arrange for him to pay for and pick up the truck. It should leave the fire station property before winter, Fire Chief Mike Trask said.
The top bid was higher than he thought it might be, although the tires alone are worth more than that, Trask said.
A prior Craigslist ad resulted in another former Alna Fire Department truck, a 1972 Dodge Power Wagon, going for $10,071 to Sugarloaf Ambulance Rescue Vehicles. Ron Morin, the Wilton business’ owner, used the truck’s chassis on a replica of the rescue truck from the 1970s television show, “Emergency.” The sale money went to the Alna Fire Department’s nonprofit arm that had gotten the Power Wagon for the department.
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