Canton Will Bond For Replacement Ladder Truck
John Fitts, Editor
February 4, 2015
With the concurrence of electors at Town Meeting Wednesday, the town will “bond” as much as $950,000 for a replacement ladder truck to be used by the town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department.
The department’s 17-year-old Ladder 2 has been out of service since fall, after the ladder portion of the truck was deemed unsafe. Town officials had initially hoped to replace the vehicle in approximately 6 years but department officers said the cost of repairs and ongoing maintenance outpaced the vehicle’s value. One challenge was that the original manufacturer was no longer in business, making it expensive to find and/or fabricate replacement parts.
The department has been eyeing demo vehicles that have been displayed at trade shows but not used in active service.
The Board of Finance recently concurred with replacing the vehicle, only debating the method of payment. While some wanted to use town reserves the fund the purchase, the majority of members voted for the sale of municipal bonds, essentially the town’s way to borrow money.
The truck will be added to a bond sale this spring that had already been scheduled for previously approved projects. Since bond sales involve approximately $60,000 in fees, officials look to consolidate the actions.
One other project, a 1.8 million window project at Canton Middle/High School, could potentially also be added to that mix. That project, which involves replacement and resulting environmental cleanup for the windows in the rear of the building, was recently referred to the Permanent Municipal Building Committee. Earlier this week that board asked school officials to gather more information about the type of windows that would be used, energy rating, the feasibility of phasing the project and more.
On Wednesday, Chief Administrative Officer Robert Skinner said the project, in some form, could potentially move forward this spring if officials and electors decide to go that route.