The Board of Selectmen called for an emergency Town Meeting Monday night, to be held Nov. 17, to address the possible purchasing of new fire trucks.
Two of the town's three fire trucks are not up to code. Engine 3 is not operable and needs a new motor, and Ladder 1 does not have a functioning ladder. If a fire breaks out requiring a ladder, the Fire Department must call a neighboring community to borrow theirs, which would take many extra minutes away from fighting fires and rescuing people, according to Fire Chief Andrew Melnikas. The chief has asked for the trucks to be replaced.
"I think we're all in agreement that we need a new ladder," Selectman Rick Nardella said after grilling Melnikas about how useful -- or not -- the current ladder truck is and how often it is used in non-ladder accidents.
But compelled by statements from the Fire Department that the ladder rot is like a cancer spreading over the apparatus and trying to repair it would be pointless, the selectmen decided to proceed with getting the trucks replaced.
"I think we need to just get new ones and move foward," Nardella said. "We invested in the new Police Station, we should invest in our town's Fire Department."
The cost of replacing the vehicles would be more than $1 million combined. Melnikas said the cost of repairing the existing vehicles would be hundreds of thousands of dollars and the vehicles would not last as long as, or be able to withstand New England climates as toughly as, new trucks. Now, the voters will decide.