Manchester officials say city needs a new fire truck; price could be near $1M

Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 9:47 am

Almost two years to the date after acquiring a used 75-foot aerial-apparatus fire truck, the Manchester Fire Department’s newest safety feature is no longer usable.

The city was informed earlier this month that the truck failed inspection and has been parked, leaving the department without a working truck that can reach the top of taller buildings in Manchester.

“When I talked to [mayor] Lonnie [Norman] he said to just park it until we figure out what to do,” interim fire chief Mark Reed told aldermen in a joint meeting of the Manchester Safety and Finance committees Thursday afternoon.

Alderman Cheryl Swan, who chairs the finance committee, said that the Tullahoma Fire Department was put on standby for now in the event that a larger truck is needed.

The parked truck was acquired in March of 2011 through GovDeals.com, a site to bid on government surplus and unwanted equipment, for $12,500 from a department in Ohio in hopes of avoiding spending an estimated $1 million for a new truck that the city needs to maintain good public protection classification (also known as ISO rating).

The truck passed inspection upon purchase but failed this time around because “rust is actually bending part of the metal on the frame,” according to Reed.

Reed presented the city with options for two trucks – one in the $650,000 range and the other in the $895,000 range. It was unclear whether those prices included all the attachments and necessary equipment needed. The cheaper of the two options would not have a ladder big enough to reach the top of the tallest building in Manchester – Kingwood Arms.

Repairing the old truck is possible for around $25,000, according to Reed, but repair may not be possible. Reed said he spoke to a repairman who specializes in these types of repairs….

Read the complete, in-depth story in this week’s (March 27) print edition of the Manchester Times. Click to subscribe to the print and/or full online version of the Manchester Times.

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