TREMONT — Things got a little salty during the regular selectmen’s meeting Tuesday when the discussion turned to winter road maintenance.
Interim Town Manager Dana Reed pointed out that the budget for this year includes plans to retrofit town plow trucks for pre-treating the roads with a salt solution. Public works foreman Jimmy Schlaefer would like to begin by installing a brine tank and pump in one of the trucks.
“We thought we’d give it a try on one of the big trucks,” Reed said.
Spraying roads with brine before snowstorms has been adopted by the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the town of Bar Harbor. The practice is said to make it easier to keep roadways clear of slush and snow. Reed said the use of brine also cuts down on the amount of sand that needs to be applied during storms.
The MDOT would supply the brine. In Bar Harbor, town crews mix their own, Reed said.
The installed unit is to cost $2,829. If the system works well, the town plans to purchase units for two additional trucks.
Selectman Chris Eaton applauded the decision. He suggested the town look into using beet juice on the roads instead of the salt solution. This has been done elsewhere, he claimed.
A motion to approve the spreader purchase carried 4-0.
In other business, selectmen set deadlines for people whose properties have gone into automatic foreclosure because they failed to pay their property taxes.
As approved by the board, Reed, as town treasurer, is to notify the property owners that they have 30 days in which to set up a plan to pay their back taxes. The plan must be structured so that all 2012 taxes due are paid in full within three months and all 2013 taxes paid in full within six months. If taxes are not paid within the time frame, the town will set a date for sale of the property.