Middlesex seeking equipment grants

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MIDDLESEX — The town board has approved a federal grant request for nearly $150,000 in public works equipment.

The town might not receive the entire amount, but the board is asking for what the town needs, Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis said during a Middlesex Board of Commissioners meeting last week.

“We don’t know how much we’ll get, but we’ve done well so far,” Lewis said. “Whatever we don’t get we will apply for next year.”

The town plans to use the funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase a new Massey Ferguson tractor; a new Chevy 1500 pickup for the Public Works Department; and generators for lift stations on Hanes Street and at Southern Seeds and Penco. The total request including attorney fees is $144,676.

Last year, town officials used similar funding to purchase two Kubota lawnmowers, a 2019 four-wheel-drive Ford F-150 crew-cab pickup, a Bandit wood chipper and other equipment totaling $150,000 in grants and low-interest loans.

No one spoke during the required public hearing.

The board also agreed to purchase two lots of land on East Hanes Avenue from resident Henry Manning for $2,500. Manning agreed to knock $300 off the original asking price because the town moved a 1-ton truck and storage container off the property for him.

The property is adjacent to the town’s public works lot. The town will fence in the property and maybe build a shelter for new public works equipment, Lewis said.

“Equipment lasts longer if it’s kept under a shelter,” Lewis said.

In other business, the board appointed resident Ginger Bullock to the town’s Board of Adjustment.

After a brief closed session, the board hired Dakota Toms, a Franklinton police officer, to work part-time in Middlesex as a police officer.