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Fire District No. 11 votes to buy ladder truck

by Clarke DavisThe Fire District No. 11 board voted to replace its broken ladder truck when it met Sept. 13, but there are some conditions.

Fire Chief John Gordon reported that he had located a ’91 model fire truck with a 65-foot ladder in Indiana priced at $25,000 — the same amount that it would cost to repair the ladder truck the district now owns.

The board voted to buy the truck provided the firefighters themselves wanted it and would loan the district the money from the Firemen’s Relief Fund. The board would agree to pay them more in interest than the idle funds are now earning.

After that hurdle, the truck would also have to meet pumping tests prior to the purchase.

Board Chairman Jason Nellis said he wanted two people from the district to make the trip to inspect the truck and bring it back if it meets expectations. They will pay a qualified person $1,000 to accompany them and conduct the tests.

Gordon said he had called a meeting of the firefighters last Monday night to discuss the matter.

The fire engine would be 11 years newer than the present one the department owns. It is out of commission because of hydraulic problems with the ladder for which parts cannot be secured.

Gordon said the truck could be used, but it would not be safe to put a person on the ladder. He noted earlier that the town’s insurance rating could be affected by the loss of the ladder truck.

Nellis said he would never vote to fix the old truck.

In other business, the board received a complaint letter from fireman David Shell against board member Charles “Butch” Wynkoop. Shell was upset because Wynkoop had approached him in a public restaurant about some of the issues that had caused recent quarreling (elaborated on in the Aug. 18 edition). Shell said he didn’t want to get John Gordon or the board in trouble.

Nellis made the only comment, “This has got to stop. It hurts morale and it is not doing anyone any good.”

Wynkoop did not attend the meeting. Members present along with Nellis were Mike Hahn, Mary Jane Burns, and Bill Klenklen.

The October meeting has been changed from the second Tuesday to the third Tuesday.

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