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New fire truck on horizon in Melrose

Posted by Alix Roy  March 24, 2010 10:04 AM

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The Melrose Fire Department is one step closer to securing a  new fire truck after the Appropriations Committee voted 10-0 in favor of bonding for the $525,000 vehicle at its Monday night meeting.

“It flew through,” said committee chairman Paul Brodeur of the motion to recommend that the city issue a bond for the purchase. “It was a pretty strong case, the administration did a good job presenting it.”

No members of the committee expressed concern with the measure, which will be voted on at the next Board of Alderman meeting on April 5. It will then be up to Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan to authorize the bond, which he is expected to do.

“He was there speaking in favor of it,” said Brodeur of Monday's meeting.

Fire Chief Paul O'Brien also made a case to committee members, stressing the limitations placed upon the department by aging infrastructure. The new truck, which will be housed in Engine 3, is needed to replace a 16-year-old pumper, he said.
 
“This is great foresight by the mayor and the city and it will save us money down the road,” he said. “You've got to have dependable fire apparatus.”

If the bond is approved, O'Brien plans to put the purchase out to bid in April and have the new pumper operational by winter. On Tuesday, O'Brien gave credit to the administration for sticking with its replacement plan despite cuts in state aid. His next mission will be the replacement of a 1999 Seagrave pumper, along with equipment and station repairs.

“We're working on everything,” he said. “The fire stations do need help but times are tough.”

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