New fire truck comes with hefty price tag

Waubeka department studies funding options to cover $700,000 cost

WAUBEKA FIREFIGHTERS CONDUCTED training exercises on a pumper tanker truck the Waubeka Fire Dept. just purchased as a temporary replacement for another truck that is nearly 30 years old and no longer usable (top photo). Fire Chief Jason Caswell (bottom photo) says officials are trying to “whittle down” the estimated $700,000 cost of a new truck. Photos by Sam Arendt
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Waubeka Fire Department needs to replace a nearly 30-year-old pumper tanker truck that could cost the town as much as $700,000.

“That’s a lot of money and would likely have to go on the levy,” Town Chairman Rich Mueller said.

A committee has been formed to look into replacement options. Its members include town supervisors Lance Leider and Mark Schubert, Fire Chief Jason Caswell and several other members of the fire department.

The committee hasn’t met yet but fire officials have already started working on the project, Caswell said.

“We’re trying to whittle that price tag down a bit” by looking at options they could possibly forego, Caswell said.

In the meantime, the department has purchased a truck from the Deerfield, Wis., Fire Department as a temporary replacement. Caswell said it will be added to the department’s fleet, which includes a fire engine, brush truck, ambulance, personnel van and water tanker.

The department was able to purchase the truck from Deerfield with funds left over from a fund created to buy extrication tools, Caswell said.

“But we don’t really have a separate account for truck replacement,” Caswell said.

The village took delivery of the 1989 Pierce pumper tanker in 1990.

“It’s come to the end of its life. We recently discovered an issue with the pump on it and at this point the cost of replacing the pump is more than what the truck is worth,” Caswell said.

“We don’t think we’re in a position to fix it and recoup that amount of money if we sold it.”

Caswell said the department will apply in the fall for a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

“We’ll write it for the total amount and go from there, but that’s not a guarantee. We’re going to do our due diligence and see if we can’t secure some funding,” Caswell said. 

Officials expect to hear back on their grant request in the spring, he said.

 

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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