Essex County approves purchase of new truck for fish hatchery

— A routine inspection turned out to be anything but for Essex County Fish Hatchery supervisor Steve LaMere.

LaMere addressed the Essex County Ways and Means Committee March 25, seeking funds to purchase a new vehicle and further repairs to the facility from a fund that was previously set aside for waterline repairs at the Hatchery.

The committee passed the resolution on to the full board.

Recently, LaMere took a Ford F-150 truck that is used for stocking, plowing and other work at the fish hatchery in Crown Point in for inspection. He said that he knew there were problems with the truck, but did not know just how bad it was.

"We were informed that the vehicle was uninspectable," he said. "It is the only fleet vehicle that we have other than the stocking truck."

"This ties our hands as far as the inspection," Department of Public Works Supervisor Anthony LaVigne said. "The old days of just slapping a sticker on it are gone."

LaMere requested that the board approve the use of funds to purchase a 3/4-ton truck with an 8-foot box and plow package from a reserve account that was created initially for a water line repair project that never happened because the cost came in above budget.

"That size box would allow us to put all of our portable stocking tanks on there, and we need a plow package because that is the truck that we will use to move snow," he said. "The project never got off the ground, and the money just sat there in an inactive account."

"After Tropical Storm Irene, we had several issues and were able to get them fixed through funding from FEMA and others, so our water lines are now in pretty good condition," he said.

County Manager Daniel Palmer said that the purchase could run between $25,000 and $30,000.

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