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Middlesex buys equipment, truck with grant

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MIDDLESEX — Town officials received two lawnmowers last week and are waiting on a bevy of other equipment thanks to a federal grant and loan deal.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture handed down $150,000 in grants and low-interest loans for equipment and a brand-new police vehicle after Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis signed closing documents Aug. 19.

The offer includes $100,000 in grant money and a seven-year loan for $47,000 at a 3 ½% interest rate, according to information presented by Monica Thornton, grant administrator for the USDA.

Not wasting any time, the town is purchasing a 2019 four-wheel-drive Ford F-150 crew-cab pickup for $40,600.

“It’s at the dealership in Clinton being fitted with police equipment like lights and sirens,” Lewis said.

The town has also purchased a new Bandit wood chipper for $39,000, which should be delivered by mid-October. The new yard waste chipper replaces a machine purchased in 1991, Lewis said.

“It’s vastly exceeded its life expectancy,” Lewis said.

The two Kubota mowers cost $12,700. The town is also purchasing a new three-phase generator to be used with one of the town’s wells for $29,300 and an Amazing Machinery jetter for $25,300, along with other equipment.

The town will also use the funds to cover attorney fees and taxes.

The board approved the grant application and submission in June.