Tuesday January 29, 2013

HALIFAX -- The new town truck should be making its rounds soon.

"We purchased the one from Clark’s (Truck Center)," Selectboard Chairman Lewis Sumner told the Reformer on Monday.

The board decided to go with the International Truck 7600, which comes with all the necessary equipment to handle snow plowing. The truck is an automatic with side dump already attached. It will cost the town $179,990.

Replacing the damaged truck has been in talks since the beginning of January. The board asked Brad Rafus of the Highway Department to look at the numbers and compare the specs of the different bids that the board received on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Rafus met with the board and told its members that the truck from Clark’s would be the best choice. He also ran through the other options and numbers, explaining why he thought that the International Truck should be purchased to replace the previous town truck.

Rafus also said that the specs fit with the price. The other complete truck that the board had looked at when announcing the bids had not been as qualified when he looked into it. It would have cost the town $101,911.

Rafus has been vocal on the urgency of replacing the town truck that had been written off as a total loss after a fire in its side cab had taken the truck off the road.

The damaged town truck had recently been paid off by the town and was being used as a town plow truck.


Advertisement

With frequent snow fall this winter, the Selectboard, as well as residents of Halifax, have been worried about finding a replacement as soon as possible.

The fire had occurred on the night of Dec. 29 on Jacksonville Stage Road in Halifax. The proceeds from the insurance company could be approximately $102,500, according to Rafus.

The board has talked about buying another truck, in addition to this replacement. It mentioned at the special meeting on Wednesday that the idea should be further explored.

"It’s still in the air a little bit," said Sumner. "We may buy the old truck back from the insurance company and salvage some of the parts from it."

That had been an idea that Rafus presented to the board on Wednesday. He said he could work on re-building the truck perhaps during the summer.

The town could be waiting until July 1 for the second truck. For now, the replacement truck took the board by surprise, leaving its members scrambling for a solution during budget season.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.