Council may green-light truck purchase

GLOVERSVILLE – The city Fire Department may get a new fire truck.

The city may decide on the purchase of a new midmount quint aerial platform truck for the department at the Common Council meeting tonight.

The council previously allowed the department to seek bids for the purchase of a new fire truck with a ladder that extends at least 95 feet.

Fire Chief Beth Whitman-Putnam said based on what she has learned, the midmount quint aerial platform fire truck could cost as much as $1 million.

Mayor Dayton King said the city would be able to afford the purchase. He said the city could use some of the $3.5 million in the general fund for a down payment and borrow for the rest of the cost. The city could pay off the bond in five years, he said.

Despite the expense, King has previously said he is confident city taxes will go down.

King said no public vote would be necessary to acquire the fire truck.

The federal government previously denied the department grant money for a ladder truck for five years in a row.

Whitman-Putnam said most fire departments buy trucks new and have them designed to meet their particular needs. While some used trucks are available, they may not fit the city’s needs such as ladder height and tank capacity, she said.

The city needs a truck with an aerial platform with pumping capabilities that includes at least a 95-foot aerial ladder, a 2,000-gallon-per-minute pump, and a tank capacity of 500 gallons.

The quint aerial platform combines functions of a typical engine pump and an aerial ladder, the chief said, so the department would have a single truck that could function in several ways.

She said the city is required by the Insurance Services Office to have a ladder truck because five or more buildings in the city are three stories tall or higher. The ISO also requires a ladder to be within 2 1/2 miles of the coverage area, she said.

The Johnstown Fire Department, which has an aerial truck paid for in part with federal money, now is on standby to respond to fires in Gloversville.

If Johnstown is not available, the Amsterdam Fire Department can be asked to respond, Whitman-Putnam said.

The chief said the previous truck didn’t hold any water or have a pump. The new quint vehicle would have that ability.

Public hearings

The council also will hold two public hearings during the meeting.

The first hearing to take place will be about the transit route changes related to the opening of the new Walmart Supercenter.

The second hearing will be about changes to the City Code pertaining to sewer law.

An audit by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined the city’s present definition of non-compliance in the present sewer-use law is less stringent than the federal standard required by the EPA, according to meeting documents.

Also during the meeting, the property manager of Overlook Apartments, Heather Reynolds, will offer a brief presentation.

Police Chief Donald VanDeusen is scheduled to introduce a new police officer at the meeting, and will provide an update on the new camera system that will be installed throughout the city.

The council also is expected to pass a number of resolutions regarding budget modifications as well as establishing polling places.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio is expected to request an executive session during the meeting to discuss the employment history of a particular person.

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