WILTON — The town’s Fire Truck Committee will hold a public informational meeting Tuesday, July 15, on options for aerial truck service to replace the Fire Department’s snorkel truck.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of Academy Hill School. It will be followed by a regular selectmen meeting at 7 p.m. at the school.

The truck was more than 40 years old when it was put out of service in mid 2013, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

Farmington and Jay have provided coverage on an interim basis with the understanding the town is working on a resolution.

The truck wouldn’t pass state certification prior to it being put out of service, fire Chief Sonny Dunham said in April.

Among the options are for either Farmington or Jay fire departments or both to have aerial trucks on standby and buying a new or used ladder truck, she said.

The committee has worked on options for several months.

Farmington and Jay have presented cost proposals for having aerial trucks on standby.

Jay’s ladder truck is based at that town’s Fire Station 2 that is in the Chisholm area of town and across from the former Town Office. It is approximately 11 miles from Wilton’s downtown, Irish said.

Farmington’s Tower 3 truck is based at the Farmington station and is 9 miles from downtown Wilton, she said.

The multi-level Comfort Inn & Suites is just over the Farmington line and would be reached quicker by Farmington.

Farmington’s proposal is for $23,321, Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis said. He reviewed the offer with his board of selectmen Tuesday. Davis, fire and town officials met with Wilton’s Fire Committee. Farmington developed a formula to make an offer to have Tower 3 provide the service for a year.

The formula includes the per-capita rate, providing three staff firefighters for manpower, use of the truck and providing service for structure and chimney fires, smoke in buildings and fire-alarms for high-life hazard occupancy such as a development for older people.

There has been a mutual aid agreement in place for years in the area to help each other, Davis said. But it doesn’t mean one town’s taxpayers should have to suffer on behalf of another town, he said.

The tower truck cost $812,000 in 2007 to buy.

The formula boils down to $3.40 per capita for Farmington and $5.66 per capita for Wilton.

Jay’s offer is $11,607.12 but does not include manpower, Irish said.

“We put together some draft numbers to begin the discussion based on what Farmington had done but there were several unknowns such as the cost of manpower, whether Wilton would be buying into Jay’s equipment or renting it, where the truck would be housed and whether this would work for Jay/Wilton,” among other factors, Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

“From our perspective, Wilton was just reaching out to begin the conversation. I believe they are going to have meetings with their board and citizens to see if they want to pursue discussions and come up with firm numbers and criteria,” LaFreniere said.

The Fire Committee will also review results of a survey sent to the bigger businesses in town.

“We are not looking at doing anything this year,” Irish said.

The first priority is taking a good look at options that are available and getting input from the public to develop a solution, she said.

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