HOULTON, Maine — During a brief Town Council meeting on Monday evening, councilors voted to purchase a used plow truck for the Public Works Department.
Councilors authorized Town Manager Marian Anderson to waive the bid process and purchase the 2008 International plow truck from Daigle & Houghton of Fort Kent. Councilors authorized the transfer of $20,000 from the town’s surplus account to cover the cost.
The move came one month after Chris Stewart, director of the Public Works Department, sent a letter to the council detailing the need to repair and replace equipment before the long winter ahead.
Stewart presented the letter from Tim Bragan, the town’s head mechanic, during the July 8 council meeting. He noted that Bragan continued to repair equipment after the 2018-2019 winter, but had detected a number of issues with the fleet of trucks.
According to Stewart, a 2004 plow truck has an all-season body that is “completely rotted out” after hauling salt and sand mix for the past 15 seasons. Despite that, Stewart said that the truck is in “fairly good condition,” and he suggested putting a $30,000 body on it to keep it running.
The truck that needed to be replaced the most, Stewart noted, was a 1994 Western Star dump truck that would no longer pass inspection due to a frame that was “separated severely.”
He conducted research and discovered that the town of Mapleton had traded its 2008 International plow truck with an all-season body, plow and wing equipment to Daigle and Houghton.
To make up for the loss of the dump truck, Stewart said that he would put a dump body on the 2004 International, thus making it a dump truck. In other business, the council accepted the low bid for winter road salt of $70 per ton from New England Salt Company of Winterport.