MERRIMAC — A proposal to save money by spending a little more will be among the issues tackled Monday at a Special Town Meeting.
The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Sweetsir Elementary School cafeteria. A request for $149,000 to purchase a new ladder truck and engine for the Fire Department tops the list of warrant articles.
The Fire Department received approval at the annual spring Town Meeting to spend $1.2 million on a combined ladder and pumper truck.
Fire Chief Larry Fisher said he had been conducting research on a new vehicle when he saw an opportunity to save the town about $700,000 by purchasing two vehicles — a ladder truck and an engine/pumper truck.
“Communities have been able to package a deal for a couple pieces of equipment for pretty much little more cost than what it would cost to buy one truck,” Fisher said.
He said the additional $149,000 would come from the town’s fire and ambulance apparatus stabilization fund. It would give Merrimac a chance to replace two vehicles instead of one for almost the price of a single truck.
“We have some very old equipment, that’s why we are doing this and it’s about a $700,000 savings if you buy them separately, it is very significant,” Fisher said. “That stabilization fund is for this very purpose but, in order to access it, we must get a vote at the Town Meeting. We’re not asking the town for anymore of its tax dollars. We’re just using the money that has already been set aside for this.”
Voters will also be asked to approve $29,894 to replace the two large HVAC units on the roof of Merrimac Public Library.
Engineering and planning costs to relocate a pair of boilers and other equipment from Pentucket Regional Middle School to Donaghue and Sweetsir elementary schools would cost $16,800.
Voters will also be asked to accept Jana Way as a public way and to spend $4,400 on upkeep of town cemeteries.
Four zoning amendments also appear on the Special Town Meeting warrant.
The first amendment would allow for self storage units in the Village Center area. The second would give homeowners the option to create accessory dwelling units such as in-law apartments.
The third zoning amendment would allow the construction of single-family homes in the rural highway district. The fourth amendment would allow area farms to provide housing for employees with a maximum of four accessory units on an agricultural land parcel.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.