Zanesville City Council passed two emergency ordinances benefiting the Zanesville Fire Department at Monday’s meeting. One was authorizing the issuance of bonds totaling no more than $485,000 to purchase a new truck, and the other, allowing the department to purchase the new Pierce 1500 CPM Triple Combination Pumper Truck. Fire Chief Kevin Thomas says the addition to the fleet is necessary and urgent.
Thomas said, "The current truck, the frame has been repaired twice. We’ve got bad weather coming again. We had to wait until we were removed from the grant process to make sure we didn’t get a federal grant, which took until May. And now we’re just trying to move as quickly as we can to try and get a truck in here before bad weather sets in."
The department runs three engines, as well as fire ladder which was purchased last year. Some members of council raised questions and concerns about the distribution of funds from the fire levy that was passed in 2008, which was intended to replace the fleet, increase manpower and rebuild the fire station over a 10-year period.
"There was some problems with spending and of course, the economic downturn and the monies had to be moved to operating costs sooner than that 10-year period that we thought," said Thomas. "So we weren’t able to replace all the fleet, we weren’t able to turn over the stations like we wanted to but we were able to increase the man power."
Thomas estimates the new fire truck will have a 20-25 year service life. He’s hoping to add the new truck to the fleet by winter.