Fort Ann (NY) Approves Fire Apparatus Purchase

After a series of pointed questions regarding need, cost and other issues, the Town Board voted unanimously to allow the West Fort Ann Fire Department to proceed with the purchase of a $550,000 Ferrera fire truck.

The new truck will replace a 29-year-old pumper the company bought eight years ago. The purchase will be made with financing over 10 years.

Dave DeLor, Fort Ann’s first assistant chief, answered many of the board’s questions regarding the purchase during a public hearing. He ultimately convinced the five members to vote unanimously in favor of allowing the purchase.

Before that vote, all of the board members had questions about the request, which came after West Fort Ann had made its budget request for 2016.

“The truck we have now was out of service Saturday, and we have had continual mechanical issues with this truck since we bought it (used) either years ago,” DeLor said. “It’s 29 years old, and the National Fire Protection Association recommends trucks not be any older than 20 years.”

DeLor said the department is really in need of both an engine and a tanker but because of the size of the fire house and the number of people in the department, the decision was made to get a hybrid truck, though a basic one.

“This truck is bare bones. There are no bells and whistles,” DeLor said. “Bay Ridge (fire department in Queensbury) bought a similar truck, and that was four years ago.

“This new truck is going to service Fort Ann for the next 20 or 25 years,” he said.

Board member Deb Witherell wanted to know why the truck was not in the 2016 budget, and she was told the truck committee had not finalized its deliberations at that point.

DeLor stressed this will not be an immediate purchase and that the department already has a $40,000 down payment put aside.

“It’s going to take 10 months for them to build it, so we will not start paying on the financing until 2017,” said DeLor, who estimated that personally, he will pay an extra $15 that year, noting his fire district tax is $115 on a $150,000 house.

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