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East Spencer approves resolution to start proceedings for purchase of new firetruck

EAST SPENCER — Fire Chief Shawn McBride made an appeal to the East Spencer Board of Aldermen at its Monday meeting for a new firetruck to add to his department’s aging fleet, a move that would require a property tax increase next year.

McBride asked the board to pass a resolution supporting the purchase so his department could move forward to buy one.

The truck, an S-180 pumper, would require a 15-year loan at a total cost of $428,000, or nearly $30,000 in annual installments.

“This is the first step to growing in the town,” McBride told the board.

He said the truck could be ready immediately if the board proceeded. The demo truck has fewer miles on it than a new one would, he said. He noted that the cost of firetrucks is rising.

“Why continue to buy used and buy someone else’s problem?” McBride asked.

Interim Town Administrator F.E. Isenhour said any item that takes more than 60 months to pay for requires approval of the Local Government Commission. However, McBride said he’d been in talks with someone from the commission who said the purchase would be up to the town board.

The board unanimously approved a resolution to proceed.

Alderwoman Deloris High asked if the money is available in the Fire Department’s budget. Isenhour said it’s not and would have to come in the next fiscal year budget. He added that the purchase would also require a tax increase.

“We don’t have the money to do it without a tax increase,” Isenhour said.

McBride said his department has a 40-year-old truck, a 25-year-old truck and a 20-year-old truck.

Mayor Barbara Mallett asked if any board members would join a committee to follow the process of the firetruck purchase. Aldermen Tony Hillian, John Noble and Curtis Cowan agreed to participate.

Also Monday, the board:

• Swore in Brian Worthy as a new police officer, bringing the department roster to 12 officers.

• Briefly discussed the paving of Correll Street, which will be closed Saturday with no interruption of water service while repairs are being made to the water line.

• Reiterated the date for the town tour when board members will ride around to assess the needs of the community. The tour will be from 10 a.m. to noon March 24.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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