Wilton voters to consider authorizing spending maximum $500,000 for firetruck

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WILTON — Selectpersons set a special town meeting for Nov. 18 for voters to consider allowing the town to buy a used, quint firetruck with an aerial function and to arrange financing for it, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said Friday. The cost of the firetruck is not to exceed $500,000.

A quint truck can pump water and carry it, as well as provide aerial work, fire Chief Sonny Dunham said earlier this year.

The truck would replace the town’s 1973 Ward LaFrance snorkel truck that failed inspection in August 2013 and was sent to the junkyard.

The Firetruck Committee has worked for more than a year to develop options to replace the snorkel.

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Those options included buying a new aerial truck or contracting with Jay, Farmington or both in order to provide aerial truck coverage of the town.

The third option was to buy a pre-owned quint truck and trade Engine 7, Irish said.

The consensus of the Firetruck Committee is to go with the third option, she said.

Selectpersons recommended buying a quint truck costing up to $500,000.

Research has been done, but there is no particular truck lined up to buy, she said.

Financial information and other data will be presented at the special town meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at a venue to be determined.

The firetruck will likely be funded through a 10-year loan or bond, with an estimated $55,000 payment each year, Irish said.

Of that recommendation, the town could use $30,000 to $35,000 a year from the Comfort Inn municipal tax-increment financing funds, she said.

The remaining estimated cost of $20,000 to $25,000 would be decided at the next town meeting.

The town is set to finish paying for a firetruck both Wilton and Dixfield went in on, each town agreeing to pay $100,000. Wilton is in the fourth year of paying $22,000 annually for the truck and the final payment is scheduled to be paid in November 2015, Irish said.

If voters approve the town spending up to $500,000 on a used firetruck on Nov. 18, town officials will start looking more aggressively for a truck.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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