Lighting compromise reached; truck bid approved
FARMINGTON - They'll be purple lights then pink lights to illuminate Meetinghouse Park's gazebo next month.
Since October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, representatives of both causes asked selectmen to string colored lights on the gazebo in the same month.
Lorinda Payton of Safe Voices asked to put up purple lights and hold a vigil 6 p.m. on Oct. 1 at the gazebo.
"Our vision is to illuminate the park using purple string lights, the symbol color of domestic violence, and hang a banner stating that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month," Payton said in a letter of request to selectmen.
Last year, resident Iris Morgan began her campaign to remind people about the importance of breast cancer prevention, noting that in the last six months of this year, 20 people have been diagnosed with breast cancer at Franklin Memorial Hospital where she works.
She also wrote selectmen asking for permission to "once again drape the Meetinghouse Park gazebo in pink lights for the month of October." Her planned official lighting is at dusk on Saturday, Oct. 6.
"Last year we had a tremendous response to the lights," Morgan said and added, "I'd like to do my part to remind everyone."
"We are asking to put up lights as well," Payton said.
"We have one gazebo and both of you are hoping for lights. I'm open to suggestions," said Steve Bunker, the selectmen board's chairman.
Selectman Dennis Pike jokingly offered, "Any chance we could do half pink, half purple? How about every other shrub be pink and the rest purple?"
In the end, both women agreed to have purple lights on from Oct. 1 for the vigil through to Oct. 5. Then at Morgan's official lighting to be held Oct. 6 and on, pink lights will prevail through October.
In other matters, selectmen approved a local bid towards replacing the Farmington Fire Rescue's elderly Squad I truck.
Farmington Ford was awarded the bid by coming in at $46,144.84 for a 2013 Ford 550, four-wheel drive crew cab chassis. Five bids were received and although Quirk Ford of Augusta came in lower at $45,338.84, selectmen, in keeping with the town's policy, went with the local bid because it met all the department's specifications and is within 5 percent of the lowest bid offered.
The truck carries a portable water tank and pump and extrication tools and is especially useful in responding to wood and grass fires and traffic accidents, said Fire Chief Terry Bell.