Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bellevue buys $253,000 fire truck

City Council plans land swap to expand fire station

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo The Bellevue Fire Department will take possession of a fire truck much like this one sometime next summer.

The Bellevue Fire Department is on a roll. Four new volunteer firefighters have joined the ranks since the city bought a new fire station in December. On Thursday, Dec. 15, the City Council unanimously authorized the purchase of an approximately $250,000 "pumper" fire truck.

The 2012 four-wheel-drive Pierce Responder 7400 series with a 1,000-gallon tank will be paid for with a $30,000 down payment and annual payments of $20,000. The truck will be driven from Florida sometime during the next nine months by Bellevue firefighters.

"A thousand gallons will put out most room and contents fires without a hydrant," said Fire Chief Greg Beaver.

A bond initiative in November aimed at raising $375,000 for the Fire Department failed. The bond would have been used to buy a $300,000 fire truck, property and equipment. The bond needed the support of at least two-thirds of voters to succeed, but fell short by 40 votes.

"[Though] the bond didn't pass, it doesn't lessen our need," council Chair Dave Hattula said Thursday. "This needs to be done and we have the money to do it."


Beaver said he and Assistant Chief Trent Shoemaker researched fire truck companies and consulted with fire departments in Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey before making a presentation to the council Thursday. Photographs of several used and new fire trucks were passed around before a selection was made.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Jan. 12, to consider an exchange of city-owned property to expand the site of the new fire station at 513 First Ave. Beaver said the new land, adjacent to the existing fire station, could be used for a firefighter training.

In other Bellevue news:

- The city authorized Florence Blanchard, a member of the nonprofit Friends of the Howard Preserve, to seek an $8,000 grant that would bring bridge repairs, signs, a shelter and a drain to the Howard Preserve.

- Councilman Larry Plott pointed out that the Bellevue Marshal's Office recently made three DUI arrests in one day. "I hope word gets out we are cracking down," he said.

- Dan Black, a former employee of the city of Wendell, was hired last month as public works director.

Tony Evans:

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