TREMONT — An issue regarding the refund issued to the town of Tremont for a delayed fire truck delivery has been resolved.
At the Select Board meeting on June 21, there was discussion and dispute over a refund for a fire truck that had been ordered by the town for the fire department.
Tremont had ordered a fire engine back in 2019, which, after much delay, finally arrived this past April. The town was granted a partial refund for the unusually long delay for the delivery of the truck, with a check for $7,500 issued to the town, and $7,500 worth of maintenance credits being issued to the fire department.
Select Board members said that since the money received in the refund was originally paid by the town for the new fire truck, any refund money must be used to pay off the outstanding debt on the new truck.
At the June 21 meeting, board members seemed to be under the impression that the fire department had received an additional refund check for $7,500, and that those funds had been mismanaged.
“Basically, the auditor misinterpreted it as a check,” said Tremont Fire Chief Keith Higgins, “but we never received a check.”
The Select Board authorized the town manager to contact the fire department and ask for the other $7,500 check, which they didn’t have.
The fire department had used the credits they received to do some maintenance on their trucks, not knowing that the town was expecting a check in that amount instead of the credits they were offered.
“The auditors think that we should not have accepted services, that we should have accepted money, but we weren’t offered money,” said Chief Higgins. “We wouldn’t have done some of the repairs for the apparatus if we had known.”
An agreement was reached between the two departments as the fire department has decided to write a check to the town for $7,500.
“The trucks all belong to the town,” said Chief Higgins. “It’s all the same checkbook, just moving between accounts.”
In other business, the Tremont Fire Department is looking to donate, sell or recycle some used equipment that is no longer of use to the department.
This equipment is left over from an older fire truck that has since been replaced with a new model. The parts from the old truck are still usable but are not compatible with any of the current trucks used by the department.
“We kept all of the valves, fittings and adapters for the truck,” said Chief Higgins. “We tried to repurpose all that we could, but that was a 1985 truck.”
Not wanting the parts to go to waste, the department wants to make the parts available for other fire departments in Hancock County that may have trucks that are compatible with these parts.
“Every month, the Hancock County fire association has a meeting. We’ll probably type up a list of parts that are available,” Chief Higgins said. “Someone from another department might be able to use it.”