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Fire truck extras get the go-ahead PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 18:38

Village and town boards approve up to $50,000 of improvements that would stagger replacement cycle

If there’s a blessing that came out of a fire truck accident this spring, it could be that the Belgium Fire Department may squeeze several more years out of the damaged vehicle, which in the long run would save the village and town money.
At a joint meeting with the Belgium  Fire Department, village and town boards on Tuesday unanimously approved spending as much as $50,000 on repairs that could extend the life of the truck for 10 years.
The 16-year-old pumper was scheduled for replacement in 2031, one year before a 15-year-old pumper is set to be replaced.
Now, those schedules are staggered, making for an easier financial burden.
“Those two trucks (replacement schedules) aren’t together anymore. They’re spaced apart. That was our main objective,” Belgium Fire Chief Dan Birenbaum said.
The extra repairs include sandblasting and repainting the frame. Replacing air and fuel tanks is also possible.
The Town of Belgium is paying 60% of the cost of the extra repairs — $30,000 — with the village picking up 40%, or  $20,000. Those numbers are based on equalized property valuation, Birenbaum said.
The two boards agreed to take the money for the extra repairs from next year’s budget.
The 2002 truck was damaged after falling on its side in a ditch while responding to a call in March. The driver had missed the driveway for the call and was looking for a place to turn around when the accident occurred, according to a Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department report. No injuries were reported.
Damage totaled $68,000 from the accident. The truck is insured, and the department only has to pay its $1,000 deductible.
Birenbaum said he expects the truck to go to Pierce Manufacturing this month for repairs.
As long as the truck was going to be repaired, Birenbaum saw an opportunity to save money by doing extra work to extend its life.
The truck was purchased new in 2002 for $650,000.
The 2001 pumper slated to be replaced in 2032 was bought used seven years ago for $225,000. That purchase, Birenbaum said, saved about $400,000.

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