Town Vehicle Gets Cool Reception in Tremont

TREMONT — The amount of money paid to reimburse town employees for use of their personal vehicles for town business rankled the feathers of selectman Lester Closson during a Aug. 20 meeting of the board of selectmen.

“I think the mileage is totally ridiculous,” Mr. Closson said.

The selectman was reacting to a financial report for the last quarter, which showed that the town paid $3,500 to employees for mileage during that period. Town employees are paid 55 cents per mile when using their own vehicle. According to Mr. Closson, the $3,500 total did not include mileage owed harbormaster David Schlaefer.

Mr. Closson suggested that the town would save money by purchasing a vehicle for employees to use.

“I think it’s time we got a town vehicle to keep the mileage down,” he said.

The idea received a lukewarm reception from the other three selectmen in attendance.

Town manager Millard Billings said he would check auctions of surplus state vehicles. Some of the town trucks have been purchased that way.

Mr. Billings also noted that insurance costs would not increase. The vehicle would be covered by the existing umbrella policy.

Mr. Closson, however, was reticent about buying a surplus vehicle.

“I think we’d be better off with an economical front-wheel-drive, something new,” he said.

No decision was reached.

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Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander