Morristown will soon have a new — used — ambulance.
The select board voted to buy a used ambulance from Rutland to replace the older of two ambulances used by Morristown Emergency Medical Services.
Morristown EMS Chief Bill Mapes told the board this spring that the second ambulance had become unsafe for his crews and likely wouldn’t pass state inspection because of extensive corrosion and several other problems.
Fixing the 11-year-old ambulance could cost more than $50,000, with no guarantee it could stay on the road long-term, so the board asked Mapes to look for a used ambulance.
Buying the Rutland ambulance and outfitting and painting it to match Morristown’s other ambulance will cost about $45,500. The vehicle is a 2013; it does have high miles — 128,000, Mapes told the board Monday — but it’s been serviced every 3,000 miles and the entire cab and box have already been refurbished.
Mapes got a firsthand look at the used ambulance last week, and is familiar with the Rutland department — he worked there for years.
“I could not find anything that would make me not trust that truck,” Mapes told the board. “I’d be comfortable putting it in the rotation with our new truck.”
He hopes the ambulance will last three to four years, long enough for the town to finish paying off the new ambulance purchased last year.
“I think four years needs to be the goal for this new, used ambulance,” Town Administrator Dan Lindley told the board.
“I could easily see this truck being a three- or four-year truck,” Mapes answered, thanks to a vigorous maintenance schedule, which he’d like to continue in Morristown.
The board voted to use up to $45,500 from the town’s unallocated reserve fund to make the purchase and set it up the way Mapes wants it.
Morristown Finance Director Tina Sweet said there’s just over $410,000 in the unallocated reserve fund. The town wants to build up the fund to about $600,000 in it, but “the important thing is to have that backup ambulance,” board member Eric Dodge said. Dropping to just one ambulance would be “a crisis.”
“We have to have that second ambulance,” he said, and buying the used ambulance appears to be the only viable way to do that.
The town will buy the used ambulance after the new fiscal year starts July 1.
• The board saw plans from Encore Renewable Energy for a 2.1-megawatt solar farm on 10 acres of a former junkyard at Hess’s Used Cars, just off Route 100. Working with the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, Encore has applied for a certificate of public good through the Vermont Public Utility Commission.
• The board seemed to like the project, which should be screened from traffic on Route 100 by existing trees and vegetation.
“It seems like a great repurposing of the property,” board vice chair Chris Towne said.
• The board voted to recommend Todd Thomas be reappointed as the town health officer for three more years, effective Aug. 1. Thomas’ appointment must come via the Vermont Department of Health, which acts on the board’s recommendation.
• The board approved changes in the Morristown Emergency Medical Services roster. Frank Holiber was added as a volunteer and Melinda Smith was hired as a temporary full-timer to cover Diana Osborne’s leave of absence this summer. Smith will be paid $16.50 per hour but receive no benefits through Aug. 17, when Osborne is slated to return.
• The board appointed former town clerk Mary Ann Wilson as a full-fledged member of the development review board. Wilson, who had been an alternate, replaces John Gloss on the board.
• The board approved the sale of a police cruiser to Lamoille Valley Chevrolet for $3,000. The five-year-old Chevy Impala has extensive corrosion and rust and likely wouldn’t pass inspection, Police Chief Richard Keith said. The cruiser was taken off the line last year.
• The board approved a bid from Union Bank to provide a $2 million loan to cover town expenses until property-tax bills are paid later this year.