LIVERMORE FALLS — Fire Chief Edward Hastings IV has proposed replacing three trucks to give his department better equipment to meet the town’s needs.
He told selectmen at their meeting Tuesday that it’s an appropriate time for the discussion, given that residents voted in June to explore building a new station in East Livermore and three trucks are showing their age.
His proposals and the reasons behind them are:
• Replace a ladder truck and Engine 1 with a combined pumper-ladder truck, often referred to as a quint. A used quint for about $250,000 would serve the town for next 15 years.
The 1988 ladder truck was bought used in 2007 for $110,000 and is estimated to be worth between $15,000 and $$20,000. It had $19,261 in repairs in 2017-18, including $13,500 for the ladder and $3,548 for an alternator. It doesn’t have a water pump supply system so a second truck is used to supply it.
The 1993 Engine 1 was brought new and has waterline rust issues that will require continued repairs or replacement. The pump shaft will need to be replaced for an estimated $16,660. “This truck is our frontline unit and the truck we rely on most,” Hastings said. “While the truck is maintained on a regular basis these repairs are customary for a unit of this age.”
• Replace a 2005 Dodge 1500 pickup/utility truck with a new mini-pumper that has a 400-gallon tank. The average cost is between $140,000 and $175,000.
“This would provide a frontline fire apparatus, combined with the versatility of a small brush truck. This unit would also allow a single firefighter to respond to calls and be effective with putting out a fire,” Hastings said.
“While having a pickup truck in our fleet is sometimes nice, it doesn’t meet the needs of our community,” the chief said. “We have several woods fires in our response area and having a remote versatile firetruck would best serve our community.”
The chief suggested three options for financing the purchases: use money from the undesignated fund balance; or use about $20,000 annually from the debt service budget, which will be reduced next year from a projected $53,000 annually to about $30,000 annually; or use money saved from this year’s final payment on a Public Works Department truck, reducing the town’s debt service further.
Livermore Falls Fire Chief Edward Hastings IV proposes replacing Engine 1 because of rusted waterlines and a broken pump shaft, which will cost $16,660 to replace. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)