The Lake Elmo Fire Department will reach new heights next year after the arrival of its new 78-foot ladder truck. The city council unanimously approved the purchase of the aerial fire truck from Rosenbauer Minnesota, LLC. for $684.441, with $28,486.49 for equipment, for a total of $712,927.49.
The purchase replaces the department’s 34-year-old, 35-foot ladder truck, one of the oldest in the metro area.
“Some the parts would need to be handmade if something broke on the truck, because they are not being made anymore.” Fire Chief Greg Malmquist said. “That’s how old it is.”
According to Malmquist, the purchase is a safety necessity, and the new equipment will help with recruiting new firefighters.
“You want to be at a station that has newer and safer equipment,” Malmquist said.
Councilmember Anne Smith said she has been behind the fire department since her time on the council began.
“About five years ago, we had the option of buying two trucks for $1 million, and it is a shame that we let it pass and are know having to pay more for one truck (than we would have),” Smith said.
Smith also said that the longer ladder will be able to help with fires on homes higher than two stories.
“I know of a few fires we have had that would have benefited from a longer ladder,” Smith said. “People want to live in a town where they feel safe.”
The council and the fire truck committee worked to find the most cost efficient way of purchasing the truck, but in the end it was a cost that all viewed is necessary.
To pay for the fire truck, the city will issue a 10-year bond levy with an expected contribution of $25 per taxpayer per year. The fire department expects delivery of the truck in January 2015.
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