LIVERMORE — Fire Chief Donald Castonguay told Selectpersons Tuesday night, Jan. 4, that ongoing issues with Engine I have stepped up plans to purchase a new truck.

“Ever since we bought (Engine I) there have been electrical problems with it,” he said. “We started a truck committee last night, are looking into bids.”

The issue seems to be with the modules, which causes the truck to ground while pumping, but where the problem is hasn’t been found, Castonguay said. Four or five hours were spent working on the truck Sunday and it’s working good now, he noted.

A cab-over truck that will fit in the station is being looked for, Castonguay said. “Putting a truck on a Sterling like we have now would be cheaper but it is too long, takes up too much room in the station. With a cab-over we’re gaining four to five feet.”

There isn’t room for the Jaws of Life on the truck now and Castonguay said he sometimes has issues finding two drivers. “I don’t really want to put Engine II out as a frontline truck as it’s too valuable as a water truck,” he noted.

“We bought that truck for under $200,000 in 2002,” Castongauy said. “You’re probably looking at $500,000 plus right now.”

Voters approved $100,000 at Town Meeting last year, the second installment of a three-year plan towards purchase of a new truck. If $100,000 is approved this year that gives $300,000 to work with, $200,000 could be borrowed, Castonguay said. He is working with three different companies to get a bid.

There may be a year’s lead time to get a truck, Selectperson and firefighter Scott Richmond said.

Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller said a special Town Meeting could be called, noting there could be a numbers factor regarding attendance.

“It could be six months before we find what we want,” Richmond said. “Once you order the truck you are committed.”

Castonguay said 30 years of use should be possible from the trucks being looked at. Twenty years have been gotten out of this one, he added.

Grants were an option, Miller said.

“We were pretty close the last time, came down to the last week,” Richmond said. “You need to come in under the magic number, we were just over.”

A grant could be tried for again, although the process is lengthy, Castonguay said. He noted used or spec trucks were other options but those might not provide what the town needs.

“We’re better off to get what we need,” Richmond said. “If we’re going to have something for 30 years we need something that will perform for us.”

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