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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 25, 2011

VFD still seeks new fire truck

By Jo E. Prout

VOORHEESVILLE — Voorheesville Fire Department officials have asked the village to move forward on the purchase of a new fire truck, but the village board is holding back to weigh its options.

After the village hired independent consultant EVR in February of this year to assess the equipment needs of the fire department, department members had hoped that a truck might be purchased in 2011. The village already planned to purchase a new truck — at a cost of around $400,000 — in 2012, but costs per truck rise about $40,000 per year, Trustee John Stevens said earlier.

Stevens told the board at a workshop Tuesday that he met with Fire Chief Dave Gannon earlier this month to discuss a timeline for buying the new truck.

Fire department member and former chief Frank Papa, who has been involved with the potential purchase for several years, said at the workshop that the truck the department needs can be obtained for between $350,000 and $370,000.

Papa suggested that the village bond or lease the truck at this year’s price.

“Would you be open to that?” he asked the board.

“I don’t want to commit without knowing what we’re getting into,” Mayor Robert Conway said. “I don’t want to bond anything. We can’t bond it.”

Conway said that the village would wait another year, if necessary.

Papa said that borrowed money could be paid off early with the funds currently set aside in the budget, thereby saving on a truck before prices rise.

“For six years, we’ve been pounding for this,” Papa said.

“Six years ago, we didn’t have a penny for it,” Conway said.

Papa said that the department’s truck committee had reduced a lot of equipment options to keep the price down.

Conway said that the committee did not need to remove necessary options.

 “I want to make sure we get the truck that we need,” he said.

Later, Conway told the board, “I don’t want to buy a truck that somebody’s trying to get rid of.”

“I expressed that to him,” Stevens said about his previous meeting.

Village board trustees David Cardona, and Richard Berger are members of the fire department.

At the workshop, Stevens thanked Gannon, Papa, and the fire department members who responded to the deadly accident in which three women were struck by a vehicle and killed outside St. Matthew’s Church two weeks ago.

“Father Tom thanks you, too,” Stevens said. “You guys stayed in the trench the whole time, and you didn’t have to. Thank you.”

“I second that,” Conway said.

At the village board meeting following the workshop, Conway praised the fire department and the Albany County Sheriff’s Department for their work at the accident scene.

“Their quick response and sensitivity are greatly appreciated. We do want to thank them,” he said.

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