Bertrand Twp. to discuss possible fire truck purchase
Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The chief of the Bertrand Township Fire Department will provide information about the department’s need for replacing a fire truck during a special presentation at Thursday’s regular meeting of the Bertrand Township Board of Trustees.
The open public meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with the presentation hearing to follow at 7:30 p.m. at township hall, located at 3835 Buffalo Rd., Buchanan.
Chief Bill Knisely said his department wants to replace a “Class A pumper” truck that is 28 years old.
The truck, he said, is mainly used to battle structure fires and serves as a backup to the department’s other “Class A pumper truck,” which is approximately 18 years old.
“We feel it is time for it to be replaced,” said Knisely, adding that the National Fire Protection Agency recommends that fire trucks be replaced when they reach 20 years of age.
Township Supervisor Steve Hicks said he expects no action to be taken by the board Thursday on the fire truck issue.
Hicks said bids for the replacement truck were opened in March and that the township expects to spend approximately $500,000 if it decides to move forward with the purchase.
However, Hicks said the prices quoted in the bids are only good through June 1.
Hicks said the township has the funds to make such a purchase and that a more detailed explanation of how the township would pay for the fire truck would be outlined at the meeting.
The potential purchase of a fire truck has been a hot-button issue in the township.
Hicks said a small group of people has spoken against buying the truck, with some saying the money could be better spent elsewhere.
Former clerk Jane Lano, who was recalled from her seat in the May 5 special election, has been vocal in questioning the board’s process in pursuing the potential transaction.
Knisely said both of the department’s Class A pumper trucks are in reliable condition.
If the township board votes to purchase a replacement truck, Knisely said that truck would become its primary truck and the 1997 truck would become the secondary truck.
Knisely said the 28-year-old truck is an “open cab” style, meaning that firefighters riding in the back are not enclosed, posing safety concerns.
The public is invited to attend and comment on the topic.