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Massena Village Board approves first steps in fire truck purchase

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MASSENA - The village’s Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a motion to allow the Massena Fire Department to begin developing bid specifications for a new fire truck to replace an aging pumper.

Chief Thomas Miller expects it might cost upward of $400,000 to purchase a new engine truck to replace either a 1987-model truck or a smaller 1989-model truck. “Both have cost us large amounts of money repairing them over the years,” Mr. Miller said.

When asked what types of problems firefighters experienced with those trucks, Mr. Miller said he “couldn’t even define them all.”

Mr. Miller described the pumper truck the department is seeking to purchase as an “initial-attack, front-line truck.” The pumper is equipped with water, hoses, ladders, ventilation equipment, air packs and other equipment that is critical to extinguishing a blaze. It is the first vehicle to respond to the scene of a fire, he said.

Currently the fire department has a fleet of six vehicles, including a tanker truck, a tower ladder, an equipment truck, two full-sized pumpers and the smaller 1989-model pumper, specially designed to extinguish grass fires.

Replacing the smaller 1989-model pumper could provide firefighters with another resource for responding to fires and would save on the costs of repairing the trucks.

The first step in purchasing a new truck is to show potential manufacturers the specifics of the truck the Massena Fire Department needs, Mr. Miller said. Then they’ll look at bids put forth by potential manufacturers.

“We’re specifying on a truck that fits the needs of the Massena Fire Department to fight fires in the town and village, and to provide mutual aid to neighboring fire departments,” Mr. Miller said. “All trucks are designed different for different reasons.”

Village officials are expected to debate the merits of bonding for the truck or a lease to own agreement in the coming weeks. Village officials have suggested the lease to own plan may be more advantageous from a financal perspective than bonding.

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