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Public works director presents solutions to equipment issues

HOULTON, Maine — The town’s public works director has presented options to municipal officials to get the department’s plow truck fleet ready for this coming winter.

Chris Stewart, director of the Public Works Department, sent a letter to the Town Council that was presented to them on Monday evening.

In the letter, Stewart noted that Tim Bragan, head mechanic for the department, continues to repair equipment after the long winter of 2018-2019. He said that Bragan 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.

Stewart also noted that a 1994 Western Star dump truck the town has will no longer pass inspection due to a frame that is “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 of Fort Kent. 

A salesman offered the truck, which has a brand new engine, to the town for $30,000. Daigle and Houghton offered the town $10,000 for the 1994 Western Star, which would bring the cost of the 2008 vehicle down to $20,000.

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.

Town Clerk Cathy O’Leary said Friday that while the council encouraged Stewart to begin the process of seeking the equipment, the purchases still need to go through the administrative process during a future council meeting.

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