Berlin (CT) Plans $1.6 Million for New Fire Apparatus

Two new fire vehicles, costing a combined $1.6 million, will likely be ordered this spring by Berlin.

The town council is likely to authorize the necessary bonding this month to buy a 2016 pumper for $583,420 and a 2016 105-foot heavy duty aerial ladder truck for $1.02 million from Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton (WI).

The town has $900,000 left from a 2006 bond issue, so the amount to be raised to make the purchase is $700,000.

The new pieces will replace a 1993 pumper that includes recycled parts from an older pumper and a 1994 100-foot ladder that is wearing out, requires frequent repairs and was seriously damaged in an electrical fire while returning from a service call in 2013, fire officials told the council during several recent meetings to discuss equipment replacement.

At a special council meeting Thursday night, Mayor Mark Kaczynski said the pending $1.6 million purchase of fire vehicles is a large expense but necessary to ensure the safety of the town, residents and volunteer firefighters.

Berlin has four volunteer fire companies: Berlin, East Berlin, Kensington and South Kensington. The companies have a patchwork collection of vehicles from various makers, including some made by firms no longer in business.

A standard fleet would make it easier to get parts to repair trucks and pumpers, town fire administrator James Simons told the council Jan 12.

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