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Houlton accepts bid for new plow truck

HOULTON, Maine — The town of Houlton accepted a $177,000 bid for a new plow truck at the latest council meeting on Feb. 8, replacing one that has been in use for 19 years. 

The new truck, a 2022 Western Star 4700 Wheeler Plow Truck, will be purchased from the Fort Kent-based Daigle & Houghton Company. The town also authorized a four-year financing plan through First National Bank, with an interest rate of 1.66 percent. 

The Daigle & Houghton bid was one of two the town received in its request for proposals for a new plow truck. The other bid came from Freightliner of Maine, which sent in a $179,000 bid for a 2022 Freightliner 114SD model plow truck. 

In a letter sent out to town councilors, Houlton Public Works Director Chris Stewart recommended that the town go with the Daigle & Houghton bid, as it was lower in cost and the vehicle model matched what the town initially requested. 

“Daigle & Houghton submitted a bid for the appropriate cab and chassis we are looking for,” Stewart wrote. “The bid price from Freightliner of Maine was $1,920 higher and did not meet the bid spec.” 

In addition to the plow truck, the town also accepted a bid from H.P. Fairfield in Skowhegan for plow equipment and a stainless steel body, beating out a bid from Viking Cives from Harrisville, New York. The H.P. Fairfield equipment bid was accepted due to a bolted chain conveyor system, rather than a welded one, making it easier for replacement in case of rust, Stewart wrote. 

The new vehicle replaces a 1993 International wheeler truck, which the town purchased 19 years ago in 2002. Stewart said the old plow truck had to be put out of service because it no longer passed inspection. He also said he expected the new truck, along with the equipment, to last for a similar amount of time. 

“The cost of ownership drops every year this vehicle is in service. I expect no different with the new plow truck that we are acquiring, Stewart said. “I expect to get a minimum of 20 years from the piece of equipment.”

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