Gorham voters in June will decide in a referendum whether to borrow up to $1,365,000 to replace a pair of the town’s aging fire trucks.

Town councilors Tuesday unanimously 7-0 agreed to ask voters for up to $515,000 for a new tank fire engine, replacing one the town bought in 1989.

Fire Chief Robert Lefebvre said the 27-year old tank truck is housed at the North Scarborough Fire Station that the two towns share. Lefebvre said Scarborough maintains that station and also has a fire truck there that is available to respond to Gorham fires.

“Two communities are gaining in this,” Lefebvre said.

Last month, the Town Council authorized a referendum seeking $850,000 to replace its 28-year old ladder fire engine.

Town Manager David Cole said the two requests for fire trucks would be combined in a single referendum question on the local ballot on Tuesday, June 14. The Town Council set Tuesday, May 3, for a public hearing on the referendum. No one from the public spoke this week about the item.

In other action, the Town Council voted 5-2 (Councilors Bruce Roullard and Marla Stelk opposed) to send a letter to the Maine Turnpike Authority to “support continuing efforts” to develope a new highway in the Portland-to-Gorham corridor. Concerns of Roullard and Stelk included where a new road would be located and its impact on the environment.

The turnpike authority and Maine Department of Transportation in 2009 launched the Gorham East-West Corridor study, but a phase 2 of the study was not funded in 2011. Town Councilor Michael Phinney said Tuesday options to relieve highway congestion could include widening Route 22 or a turnpike spur to Gorham.

The Bernard Rines Bypass, which opened in 2008 after a half-century of studies, skirts traffic around downtown Gorham. The bypass links routes 114, 202 and 25. But the Route 22 corridor, which runs through South Gorham, North Scarborough and Westbrook, has traffic congestion. Cole said in Tuesday’s Town Council meeting that Gorham wants the turnpike authority to know it still has a problem.

Phinney said commuters traveling through Gorham include those from Buxton, Standish and even Cornish.

“A bypass has to be built at some point,” Phinney said.

In other business, Cole explained a new option available to residents, who now can buy colored tags to stick on trash bags in the curbside collection program. The tags could be attached to commercial trash bags for pickup in Gorham.

Residents can still purchase Gorham’s trash bags, as that program hasn’t changed. The tag program “offers an additional option,” Cole told town councilors.

A news release Tuesday about the tag program said the tags are the same price as Gorham trash bags. A pink sheet with five tags cost $6.25 ($1.25 each) and can be used on any trash bag up to 15 gallons. A yellow sheet with five tags is $12.50 ($2.50 each) and those can be used for any trash bag up to 33 gallons.

The tags are available at the same locations where Gorham trash bags are sold.

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