South Thomaston ME Voters Veto Fire Apparatus Purchase

A proposal to purchase a new fire truck was shot down by South Thomaston (ME) voters.

Voters were asked whether they wanted to spend $450,000 for a new rescue pumper truck. The town would have received $100,000 for trading in its newest truck — a 2003 vehicle. Another $157,000 would have come from the fire truck reserve account and the remaining $193,000 from borrowing.

Sonya Sleeper said that the department responds to 47 calls in a year and said it was too risky to spend this kind of money at a time of financial uncertainty for towns because of state budget cuts.

Outgoing Selectman Jeffrey Northgraves said the new truck was needed. He said both of the department’s vehicles are old.

Interest rates are at historic lows, Northgraves said in defense of the purchase. He also said the cost of repaying the loan would be less than what the town has been putting in the fire truck reserve account each year.

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