Grafton Opens Bids For New Ambulance
By Doug La Rocque
The Grafton Town Board advertised for bids back in December of last year, and at the Monday, January 8 meeting, opened three bids that were returned under the deadline. VDM Fire offered to construct the new vehicle according to bid specifications for $160,373. This included the town’s 17-year old ambulance in trade.
Specialty Vehicles proposal came in at $157,675, also including the current ambulance in trade. Cromwell Emergency Vehicles bid $155,090, not including a trade. The Town Board is leaning toward not trading the current vehicle in, feeling it might be of more use to the town in some other capacity than what it would bring monetarily. Without a trade factored in, both VDM Fire and Specialty Vehicle’s bids would conceivably go up an unspecified amount. The Board took no action on the bids this night, stating they will review them with the Grafton Rescue Squad in the near future before deciding which proposal to accept.
The Board learned at last December’s meeting that the $150,000 state grant to purchase a new ambulance had cleared all final hurdles. The town, which actually owns the vehicle, will have to first purchase a replacement before the state will release the money.
The New York State Budget Office has assured Grafton, once proof of the purchase and payment is filed, that release will be handled expediently.
The current ambulance was just returned to service, having been out two and a half weeks for many needed repairs. In that time period Rescue Squad members responded to calls in their private vehicles, while patient transport was handled by neighboring or paid services on a mutual aid basis. There were nine calls handled this way. The Board previously voted to go ahead with the repairs as the timetable for delivery of the new ambulance, once the bid is awarded, is upwards of nine months.
Cold Snap Hinders Both Highway and Fuel
Highway Superintendent Herb Hasbrouck told the Board the nearly two weeks of below zero weather (there were reports of 25 below zero Sunday morning), has caused his sand pile to freeze up, making it more difficult to load and spread during the recent storms. He also told the Board the old fuel pump keeps freezing up as well, forcing them to use a hand transfer pump to fuel the vehicles. He added he has been unsuccessful in trying to purchase a used pump and estimated the cost of a new one to be about $6,000. Board member Eric Buckley asked Mr. Hasbrouck if he could have information on a new pump ready for them to look at in two weeks. The Superintendent said he would. Mr. Hasbrouck also reported they have taken delivery of the 2012 single axle truck the Board purchased in December and it is being placed in service.
The Grafton Community Library report indicated new Director Natalie Hurteau has instituted many new programs for both children and adults.
The Grafton Cemetery Association told the Board they hope to begin clearing about two acres of land, turned over to them from the town, some time in the fall.
This will be used to open up more burial plots as only a few remain in the current cemetery confines.
The Board approved a motion to pay certain program payments, such as are made to the library, veterans and cemetery, annually at the beginning of each year, instead of quarterly, as has been the practice. Board members also decided to hold a second meeting each month, on the fourth Monday at 7 pm.
This will be a workshop session. They also agreed to pay all audit bills, totaling $39,346.
The Town Clerk’s Office turned over a check for $2,344.33, representing net revenues for December. The meeting was then adjourned in loving memory of Lois Surprise.