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Council approves $43K toward used fire truck

Cary Ashby • Sep 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Norwalk city council addressed two liability concerns by passing one resolution Tuesday — money toward a used fire truck and repaving the city hall parking lot.

Council unanimously passed a resolution that authorized Norwalk Finance Director Michelle Reeder to earmark the $50,000 in the general capital improvement for the two projects; $43,000 will go toward a used fire truck and $7,000 to repave the parking lot.

Sitting in the lot now is one of two vehicles that Chief John Soisson placed out of service Friday morning, a 1994 Freightliner pumper/tanker. Also out of commission is the department’s 1985 Gruman pumper. The two vehicles failed to pass a liability-related safety inspection by a trooper with the state Highway Patrol that was done at Soisson’s request. 

“We haven’t felt comfortable with these trucks for a while,” the chief told council Tuesday.

A six-inch hole in the frame of the Freightliner has grown to 31 inches, he said, and there is “severe twisting to the frame.”

“I am looking for two things — a used truck and a new truck,” said Soission, who believes that the $43,000 could be used toward a down payment on a used vehicle that could have a life span of 10 or more years.

The fire department has borrowed a 1991 truck from the Milan Township Volunteer Fire Department that was donated to EHOVE Career Center. EHOVE hadn’t put the vehicle into service yet. The directors of the fire academy gave Soisson permission to borrow it temporarily.

Soission said he sent two of his firefighters to Indiana to check out a 2001 truck that looked good online.

“Looks can be deceiving; it was not a very good truck,” he said.

Ashland has loaned the fire department a 1999 truck.

“They replace their trucks every 20 years,” Soission told council. 

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