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Colrain voters OK new pumper truck

COLRAIN — Annual town meeting voters agreed to buy a pumper truck and equipment for the Fire Department, two dump truck bodies for the Highway Department and to spend $70,000 from old Community Development Block Grant loan repayments to cover demolition costs of town-owned buildings.

The truck was approved by a ballot vote of 84-19.

“We’ve been down a truck for three years,” Fire Chief Nicholas Anzuoni explained. “We pulled a 1972 tanker out of service because of mechanical (unreliability).”

A new pumper would give the fire department three vehicles. The town may borrow up to $405,000 to pay for the truck, while spending $50,000 from the Fire Department Stabilization Account for it. The $405,000 would be repaid over three years through a debt exclusion, temporarily raising the tax rate until the truck is paid in full.

Anzuoni said he will search for a slightly-used demonstration model truck to save money, but that they are hard to find.

Anzuoni expects a bid for a new truck and equipment to come in under the approved amount. He said it will likely be close to a year before the town takes possession of a new truck.

During last week’s annual election, voters approved the exemption from Proposition 2 1∕2 by a vote of 178 to 88.

The new town government budget approved is within 2 percent of this year’s spending plan. The town will receive $1,226,055, which is about $22,000 more than this year’s operating budget.

The assessment for the Mohawk Trail Regional School District’s operating expenses is $1,668,571, which is $75,537 over this year’s assessment — a 4.7 percent increase.

The $70,000 in town-owned building demolition funds will come from loan repayments made by residents for housing rehabilitation grants that came through the 1985 and 1986 Community Development Block Grants. Town-owned buildings under consideration for demolition include 1890-built Memorial Hall.

Other spending requests:

∎ $28,500 for a new highway dump truck body.

∎ $23,000 for a replacement highway dump truck body.

∎ $30,000 for computer networking costs for Town Office.

∎ $12,227 to replace windows at the town Highway Garage.

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