Voters OK street sweeper purchase

MOUNT DESERT — The town’s purchase of a new street sweeper was narrowly approved by voters at the special town meeting Monday night.

The vote of 68-61 authorized the town to borrow up to $225,000 for the sweeper, which will replace the one that was totaled when a large chunk of ledge fell on it on Peabody Drive in May.

Public Works Director Tony Smith said the actual cost of the new sweeper is $204,500. He said a heavy equipment dealer in Lewiston had guaranteed that price until the day after the town meeting vote.

Smith also said he will recommend to the Board of Selectmen that $50,000 be taken from his department’s equipment reserve account to reduce the amount the town has to borrow to $154,500.

Some at the town meeting questioned why the town didn’t pay for the street sweeper entirely with reserve account funds.

“That would leave us with about $44,000 in reserve, and I’m not comfortable with having such a low amount going into the winter,” Smith said.

He also was asked why the town didn’t lease a street sweeper instead of buying one.

“The terms were better for purchase than for leasing this time around,” he said.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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