The purchase of a smaller, cheaper version of the pumper firetruck Windsor voters rejected in June is on the ballot for approval on Nov. 3.
This time the proposal has the unanimous support of both the selectmen and Budget Committee.
In secret-ballot voting June 9, residents voted 166-61 against borrowing $350,000 to buy a new pumper truck with a six-person cab. The truck would have cost $406,000 with $50,000 from a reserve account and up to $10,000 from the Windsor Volunteer Firefighter fundraising account supplementing the proposed but rejected $350,000 bond.
Both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee opposed that purchase. The selectmen said at the time they thought the proposed truck was too big and too expensive for Windsor.
The proposal before voters this time is to appropriate a total of $335,000 for a new two-person-cab pumper truck. Funding for that would come from a $250,000 loan, $50,000 from a reserve account for fire equipment, and $35,000 from the town’s general fund balance, which is generally made up of money unspent in previous years.
Ray Bates, chairman of the selectmen, said the truck is essentially the same pumper truck firefighters sought in June, but with a smaller cab and a smaller price. He described it as “more suitable.”
“This is the same truck they wanted before, just without the six-man cab,” he said.
Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Strout said the new truck will be on a commercial chassis instead of a custom chassis as the larger truck would have been, will have a shorter warranty, and won’t have a light tower, but other than that, is “pretty much the same” as the previously proposed truck, but with a smaller cab.
“It will be adequate. We have a truck like it right now,” said Strout, son of Fire Chief Arthur Strout. “We had hopes to go to a six-man cab, and the town decided it was too much money. So we’ll drop back to this one. It will do what we need it to do.”
The new truck would replace a 28-year-old pumper the Fire Department bought used in the late 1990s. The Strouts said that truck needs to be replaced because of its age and deteriorating condition and because it just barely passed its last certification.
The proposed new truck would be an E-one/Freightliner rescue pumper.
With the interest rate on the $250,000 bond proposed for buying the new truck figured at 3.44 percent, interest on the seven-year loan would be $34,434, for a total interest and principal cost of $284,434.
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