Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bellevue buys $253,000 fire truck

City Council plans land swap to expand fire station


By TONY EVANS
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."

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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: tevans@mtexpress.com




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