STOCKTON SPRINGS – The Select Board met with Diane Terry and Cal Cooper of the Prospect Select Board Oct. 21. The third member of Prospect’s board, Joe Rego, was unable to attend.

The main topic of discussion was ambulance service, as Prospect depends on Stockton Springs for its service, and has sought a formal EMS agreement with the town. Mac Smith, Stockton Springs’ town manager, said the Ambulance Department would like to use money from the American Rescue Plan Act to fund the purchase of a self-loading stretcher, at a cost of around $42,000. Terry said she would like to see the two towns share the cost of the stretcher, since each has received $20,000 in ARPA money from the county.

However, before she would seek approval from her townspeople for such an expenditure, she would want to have a formal agreement for ambulance service from Stockton Springs in place, she said. Under the agreement, Prospect would be guaranteed advance notice of changes in the service, for example, if Stockton Springs were to decide to close its Ambulance Department and seek service from Searsport.

The benefit for Stockton Springs would be that Prospect would pay a proportion of the Ambulance Department’s costs equivalent to the proportion of calls coming from the town. For example, former Ambulance Director Ken Folette Jr. calculated that last year 27% of the department’s calls were to Prospect, so for the coming year, Prospect would pay 27% of the EMS budget.

The two boards agreed to work on a formal EMS agreement, to be reviewed at the next meeting in Stockton Springs, Nov. 4.

Also discussed was the possibility of joining forces to expand broadband availability in the two communities. Smith said he would look into the availability of funding, as well as exploring the possibility of contracting with the town of Searsport for service in those areas of Stockton Springs and Prospect that border that town.

New Ambulance Director Amy Drinkwater talked about the plan developed by Folette to staff the station 12 hours a day, with nights covered by on-call volunteers. She said in order to make the plan financially viable, the town would have to attract new volunteers, so it could take on some transfer runs to bring in additional revenue. It was agreed that Drinkwater would provide a letter about the need for additional volunteers to Terry to be posted on Prospect’s town website. Smith and Drinkwater will continue to work on the plan for daytime staffing of the Ambulance Department.

In other business, the board reviewed quotes for installing heat pumps at the Town Office, with Sundog Solar of Searsport bidding $14,000, Dave’s World of Ellsworth coming in at $19,000 and Valley Home Services of Hermon being the low bidder at $12,000.

In response to a request from a resident, the board asked Smith to seek a quote from ReVision Energy of Liberty as well. Smith will also research grants and rebates available from the state for such projects to inform a future decision by the board.

Finally, the board voted to allow overnight parking in the town-owned parking space in the Town Square from April 30 to Nov. 1. The signs will be changed accordingly.

The next meeting is at 8 a.m. Nov. 4 at the Town Office.

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