Gray, ME, Voted to Sell Fire Engine to Milton

By S.D. Plissken | November 15, 2019

A correspondent informs us that the Town of Gray, ME, in its Town Council meeting of Tuesday, November 12, 2019, voted to sell one of its fire engines to the Town of Milton, NH, for “$” [$85,000].

1997 Ferrara Spartan 75' Aerial
Another 1997 Ferrara Spartan 75′ Aerial

The relevant correspondence from the Town of Gray website follows:

October 31, 2019 
Deborah Cabana, Town Manager, Henry Pennell Municipal Complex, 24 Main Street, Gray, ME 04039
Dear Ms. Cabana,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday in reference to your community’s listed tower truck.  I greatly appreciate the time Chief Elkanich, Deputy Chief Hutchins and their staff spent with both my Deputy Chief on Tuesday and myself and our department’s EVT yesterday. I was able to meet with the Milton Board of Selectman and the Milton Town Administrator yesterday afternoon and subsequently received permission to move forward with an offer to purchase the Town of Gray Maine’s 1997 Ferrara 75’ Tower Truck. 
As I indicated in your office when we spoke there were a few mechanical concerns and a few items that would need repair before we placed the vehicle in service for our community.  With that being said these are items that would be expect in a vehicle of this age and it is evident the firefighters of your community take good care of their equipment.  In preparing this proposal we reviewed cost estimates of items that need repair and have determined an additional $20,000 will be needed above the purchase price. The following items were noted as deficiencies 

  • Broken rear leaf spring- noted in Ladder testing report.
  • Leaf springs front and rear need replacement –See Figure 1 and 2 attached.
  • Exhaust needs replacement as indicated by several exhaust leaks -See figure 3 and 4 attached
  • Coolant leak was noted in the area of the radiator 
  • Frame corrosion and tunnel corrosion was noted-See figures 5-8
  • A few leaks were noted in the pump including a long-term leak around the pump packing- See figure 9
  • Other hydraulic small hydraulic leaks where noted which present an unknown risk and cost- See Figure 10 and 11

The above list was noted by Milton’s certified Emergency Vehicle Technician and corroborated by the latest ladder test report completed in September.  In preparing a cost analysts based on the useful life of the vehicle, the needed repairs and the budget, which the Town of Milton must work with, we are prepared to offer $75,000 for the Town of Gray Maine’s 1997 Ferrara 75’ Tower Truck.  Please contact me if you have any questions.  
Nick Marique 
Fire Chief

From: Nick Hutchins <e-mail omitted>
Sent: Monday, November 4, 2019 7:58 PM
To: Deb Cabana e-mail omitted

Subject: RE: Truck 44


Here is the recommendation you requested after reviewing the Town of Milton’s proposal. Some of the noted items were going to be fixed when the new ladder truck went into service, allowing the truck to be stored serviceable and in good shape for resale or use. To fix everything Chief Marique mentioned with parts (not including time) would be in the vicinity of $5,600, providing the town doesn’t purchase or repair the radiator which at this time seems unnecessary. These are reasonably obtainable repairs that are not open ended on how the Town of Gray would want them done, verse how the Town of Milton might expect them done. This point of discussion needs to be at the for front of thoughts when talking about repairs made to a truck this age. Items like rust repair come with a level of expectation from each party on how they would want it to be fixed, which can cause an open-ended price tag that the Town of Gray probably should avoid.

I have attached my answers to the proposal as well in this email. If you need more information on anything that I can help you with, please reach out to me. If it is urgent, I can be reached at phone number omitted.

I hope this helps you out and look forward to hearing back from you on the direction you’d like us to go.

Stay safe.

Deputy Chief Nick Hutchins
Operations and Equipment
Phone: phone number omitted

“Protecting Life and property at the Crossroads of Maine since 1880”

From: Deb Cabana
Sent: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 11:08 AM

To: Nick Marique
cc: Kurt Elkanich

Subject: r-w: Truck 44

Attachments: Truck 44 repair.docx; TC Agenda 11122019.doc

Dear Mr. Marique,

Thank you for your interest in the ladder truck and your thoughtful offer. I have had an opportunity to have our mechanic review the associated costs that you have identified for the ladder truck. t have attached his opinion regarding the pictures that you sent, as well. The Town of Gray can fix the leaf springs and exhaust leak with a good wash and grease of the ladder itself. Additionally, we can offer ladders and one length of hard suction, all maintenance records, one set of filters for the first filter change, spare tires for both fronts and one side on rear and grease for the ladder itself. We are also willing to offer training from a department member with your department, if you so desire.

I have placed an item on the Town Council agenda for next Tuesday night (November 12) regarding the potential sale of this vehicle. (Please see Item #65-20 in the copy of the attached agenda.) As I indicated to you earlier, my Council was anticipating a sale price of $100K for this truck. I believe that I could convince my Council to a price of $85,000. If this counteroffer is acceptable, we will need to keep the current truck in service until the new one is fully in service and operational and the repairs agreed upon are done. l am told that we should have the new truck in about a week. Of course, the crew will need to be trained on the new truck.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Deborah Cabana

Town Manager, Town of Gray
24 Main Street, Gray ME 04039 Phone:
phone number omitted Fax: fax number omitted e-mail omitted e-mail omitted

Agenda – Gray Town Council – November 12, 2019

#65-20  To Review and Act Upon a Proposed Sale of the Ladder Truck.  5 MINS.

Proposed motion:

Ordered, the Gray Town Council approves the sale of the ladder truck to the Town of Milton, New Hampshire for a purchase price of $.

This item passed unanimously.


Town of Gray. (2019, November 12). Gray Town Council, Regular Meeting, 11/12/2019, 7:00 PM. Retrieved from

Author: S.D. Plissken

I thought he'd be taller.

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