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May 3, 2016 7:31 AM

Portsmouth officials reconsider gifting fire boat to Gilford

PORTSMOUTH (AP) — After Portsmouth City Council already voted to gift the city's seldom-used fire boat to the inland town of Gilford, the vessel may remain docked along the coast after all.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Fire Chief Steve Achilles said Monday that officials in New Castle have inquired whether the gift would be reconsidered if a group of municipalities agreed to pay maintenance costs for the boat.

Achilles said Portsmouth officials agreed, but will only consider the request if the communities — Newington, Rye and New Castle — pledged a financial commitment of "at least five years."

The boat was purchased in 2005 through a federal Homeland Security grant and costs approximately $50,000 in annual upkeep. The grant stipulates that the boat can only be transferred to another community, not sold.

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