Bennington VT Plans for New Fire Apparatus and Future

A rescue pumper will replace two fire trucks in the Bennington Fire Department (VT) fleet.

Fire Chief Steve Crawford said the new apparatus will roll out first and be equipped to deal with myriad incidents including fires, motor vehicle accidents, and hazardous material cleanup.

The pumper truck is a $560,000 proposition, but with the sale of the two old trucks, and the use of reserves, the purchase would be financed over a 15-year repayment schedule with the first payment not due until the following fiscal year 2015.

Town Manager Stuart Hurd was asked to determine the amount of reserves needed to bring the truck’s annual payment to approximately $30,000, which Hurd estimated would have a negligible effect on the overall tax rate in future years.

Meanwhile, a later conversation broached by an outgoing Select Board member renewed talk of a merger of two area fire departments.

While the former department is organized through the town of Bennington under the discretion of the Select Board, the Bennington Rural Fire Department is its own entity governed by a prudential committee and with a separate budget voted on by taxpayers in its fire district.

While rural crews cover the outskirts of Bennington, both often respond to the same calls under mutual aid guidelines.

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