Thursday February 7, 2013

HALIFAX -- Last Thursday, Halifax received the new town truck that residents and town employees have been waiting for for about a month.

It seems like a perfect time to get it, with major snowfall in the forecast for this coming weekend.

"(Road Commissioner Brad Rafus) said everything’s going good," said Selectboard Chairman Lewis Sumner. "The guys like it."

Sumner was referring to the Halifax Road Crew. Its members have been down a truck since late December, when the old town truck’s lower cab caught fire while out on the roads.

On Tuesday night, the board had been notified that the new truck ran well and that it’s been a good investment for the town. The replacement truck is a 2013 International tandem dump truck. It has Everest equipment attached to it.

"The only thing different is it’s an automatic," said Rafus. "But my driver really seems to like the automatic, so I really think it’s going to be a plus in the long run. It will cut down on driver fatigue."

The road crew picked the vehicle up from Clark’s Truck Center in Jericho on Thursday morning. It was out on the road later that afternoon.

"I’m happy we could get a decision made when we did," said Rafus. "We’re definitely going to need it this week."

The Selectboard had been busy trying to find a solution to the town needing to replace the truck, while also closing in on the budget that will be voted on at Town Meeting in March. The board had discussed other possible avenues such as finding other towns to pitch in with sanding and plowing.

It ultimately was decided that a new town truck would be the best choice, since no matter what, the town would need another one anyway.

The board put out a warning for bids to replace the truck early in January.

The board put its trust in Rafus and some other town employees who had a working knowledge of trucks on what the town should do. Rafus ran through all the bids and specs, some of which were not complete trucks, with all the equipment necessary for what the Road Crew would need it for.

He decided that choosing a complete truck would be the best idea.

-- The progress of Deer Park Bridge also had been discussed at the meeting on Tuesday.

Construction on the bridge continues. The board had been notified that the forms came off, from where the workers from Cold River Bridges put down the cement.

"They’re still working," said Sumner. "But they haven’t worked a lot lately."

He pointed out that some days it’s too cold for the workers to be outside.

"If it gets warm out, they’ll come out for a while," Sumner said.

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