Board eyes grant to assist with new fire truck purchase

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monticello aldermen Tuesday agreed to pursue grants for a newbrush truck for the fire department to assist with grass fires.

“We’re having more grass fires every year,” said Mayor DavidNichols. “The trucks we have are not designed to go off theblacktop. They’re just too bulky and heavy.”

A new brush truck would cost approximately $175,000, Nicholssaid, but he hopes to be able to purchase the truck for muchless.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The federal Assistance to Firefighters grant could reduce thatcost to about $17,500, he said. In addition, a state grant programcould be used to cover the remaining balance.

“The most it would probably cost us, if we’re approved for thefederal grant, is $17,500 and we wouldn’t buy it without thatgrant,” Nichols said.

The mayor said the fire department has plans to outfit the truckfor more than grass fires and give it a quick response capabilityto further enhance its utility.

“We want to get more than a standard brush truck,” Nichols said.”We think we have ways it could be used in far more instances thanjust grass fires. We could use this for car fires and other thingsas well as brush fires.”

A previous grant from the Assistance to Firefighters program wasused three to four years ago to purchase turnout gear, breathingapparatuses and other equipment, he said.

In other matters, the board accepted a $14,998 bid fromJohnson’s Fencing to erect 1,752 feet of vinyl fencing at AtwoodWater Park. The work is expected to be completed before the AtwoodMusic Festival at the end of May.

The vinyl fencing will replace a wooden rail fence running fromthe entrance to the eastern edge of the park parallel to Highway84. Fencing will also be added behind the stage to replacetemporary fencing used during events, Nichols said.

The wooden rail fence from the entrance to the western edge ofthe park will remain because flooding has not damaged it, the mayorsaid.

“This is still under what we had budgeted under the grant forthis,” Nichols said. “We had budgeted $18,000.”

The board also reminded residents the animals should be fencedor chained and not allowed to run loose inside the city limits.

The mayor said he had not received any complaints yet, but hehad noticed some animals running loose.

“We would rather work with all pet owners than levy fees andfines, but if they choose to ignore the animal then we must takesteps,” Nichols said. “If we get a call, we will make an attempt totrap the animal.”

Under a town ordinance, pet owners who do not keep their petsfenced or chained are subject to a fine of $25 on the firstcomplaint. Additional complaints can result in a $50 fine or, onthe third offense, a fine of no more than $500 and up to 90 days injail.