St. Peter MN to Donate Fire Apparatus to Sister City in Mexico

St. Peter (MN) recently promised to donate a fire truck to its sister city, Petatlán, Mexico but city officials are trying to figure out the logistics of shipping the 1978 pumper truck 2,328 miles across an international border and over the Sierra Madre mountains.

For the past two months, the committee has been working on a way to get the truck to Petatlán within a reasonable budget. Historical Society Director and Sister City Committee member Ben Leonard said the committee would prefer to ship the truck, which is 28 feet long and weighs 33,000 pounds, and not drive it. But, so far it has only received one quote — for more than $10,000.

“Petatlán said it would pay the shipping costs, but I’d like for us to pay,” Leonard said. “Petatlán is a much poorer community than St. Peter … ideally we could raise all the money … we also talked about potentially meeting them at the border, but they’re very busy people.”

The St. Peter City Council voted unanimously to donate the old pumper truck, which no longer meets American fire and safety regulations, to Petatlán in January. The truck is due to be replaced this spring with a newer model.

St. Peter Fire Chief Ron Quade said the truck is still usable and that he is in favor of the truck being sent to Petatlán. He noted that if it were auctioned, it would likely be bought by a hobbyist or collector for not much more than $3,000.

Fire Engineer Jim Neary, whose father help put together the specs when the fire department first bought the truck, said the it is still being used by the fire department and will remain active until the new one arrives.

“It’s still a good truck,” Neary said. “It’s one of the first pumpers out of the station when there’s a fire.”

Councilor Susan Carlin, a member of the Sister City Committee, said donating the truck would help cement relations with Petatlán. St. Peter and Petatlán have been in contact for about three years and members from each community have visited the other, but Carlin said the committee hopes to develop the relationship further.

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