– Oxford waives bid rule to buy used public safety vehicle

Oxford City Manager Adam Garland, far right, distributes his draft 2022-23 budget to the budget committee and selectors at the Civic Center on Thursday evening. The budget review will begin next week. From left to right are Peter Laverdierre (hidden) of the Budget Committee, Selectman Dana Dillingham, Vice Chairman of the Board Sharon Jackson, Chairman Caldwell Jackson, Selectman Scott Hunter and Garland. The man in the foreground is unidentified. Nicole Carter/Democrat Announcer

OXFORD — The Board of Selectmen on Thursday unanimously approved waiving the required bidding process in order to purchase a used Chevrolet Tahoe SUV for the fire department for $44,000. The money will be taken from the surplus.

The SUV will replace the 2011 Ford Expedition, which needs $6,000 in body work to pass inspection this month.

Fire and Rescue Chief Paul Hewey said the wait for new vehicles is 25 to 30 weeks. He was referred to a dealership in Albany, New York, which has more than a dozen used public safety vehicles. He said a Chevy Tahoe would cost $44,000.

Once purchased, the department command vehicle will be outfitted to Oxford specifications by Professional Vehicle Corp. in Rumford for an additional $10,000.

The Budget Committee attended the meeting.

City Manager Adam Garland told the committee and councilors that by rearranging expense accounts, the proposed budget for 2022-23 city operations has been reduced by $34,949.

“We changed the way some things were calculated and defined them more efficiently,” Garland said. “It is not from the reduction of services. The police budget has increased, but I added animal control to that budget because the animal control officer reports to the chief of police. We have combined fire and emergency medical services into one budget.

Garland also pointed out that previously the Public Safety Building on Route 26 was part of a single budget line and the North End Station on Pottle Road was part of the Fire Department budget. They have been combined into one budget.

The budget review process will begin Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center on Pleasant Street. Budgets for public safety and fire and rescue buildings will be presented, including capital purchases. Garland asked committee members and selectors to review them and ask questions before that.

In other cases, selectors unanimously renewed Oxford Casino’s operating license.

They also authorized the use of $40,000 of the surplus to help pay for sidewalk repairs on King Street. Selectmen had approved the project last year for $125,000 but it could not be completed. The cost of asphalt and other materials has increased by $40,000 and will be completed in early summer.

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