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Licking Township receives new fire truck

Licking Township officials and Licking Fire Company personnel check out their new pumper Monday night. Beacon photo by Scott Rawdon.

Licking Township officials and Licking Fire Company personnel check out their new pumper Monday night. Beacon photo by Scott Rawdon.

JACKSONTOWN – After months of waiting, Monday night the Licking Township Fire Company finally received a new Rosenbauer pumper.

“Delivery of this truck tonight is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Trustee President Joe Hart during Monday night’s Licking Township Trustees meeting. The new pumper arrived shortly before the meeting. Hart said fire department personnel are always looking for grants. “They should be very proud of the grants over the years they’ve been able to apply for and receive,” he said.

The township will be responsible for paying $57,725 of the total purchase price of $319,630. The FEMA grant will cover the remaining $261,905.

Fire Chief Mike Wilson said a truck committee worked diligently to price a new pump truck to fit the fire company’s needs. He said at first the committee was a little over zealous and proposed a $342,000 model, which was too expensive. “Now we need to get down to the basics – nuts and bolts,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the committee came back with a Rosenbauer pumper on a 2017 Freightliner chassis. “We’re trying to keep the wheelbase short,” he said. “We want it for narrow, tighter driveways.”

Wilson said the new truck features an 1,800-gallon water tank, a 1,250-gallon per minute pump, a Cummins 300 horsepower diesel engine and an Allison 6-speed transmission. “It’s a basic truck,” he said. “I’m really happy with what they designed.”

Wilson said he secured a $275,000 FEMA grant for vehicle acquisition. The township must pay a five percent match on the grant as well as the amount exceeding $275,000.

“They cut out all the fluff,” Hart said, referring to the committee’s efforts to streamline the truck’s design. He said the fire company received a $319,630 fire truck for $57,725, which is roughly the same price as four-wheel drive pick-up truck. “We really appreciate your efforts and I’m sure the residents of the township do as well,” Hart said.

“Not that many fire departments receive grants for trucks,” said Trustee John Holman. “That even speaks more highly of the efforts of Mike and his crew. My hat’s off to all of you.”

Trustee Dave Miller agreed, saying Wilson and committee members went over the truck’s design “with a fine-toothed comb” to cut costs wherever safely possible.

Wilson said a committee writes the department’s grants. “So, there’s accolades for everybody,” he said.

In other township news:

• Trustees unanimously agreed to maintain employee health benefits for township employees with either a $250 or $500 deductible per employee and now each employee(continuedmust contributeon Page 3) fiver percent toward his or her monthly premium.

“The days of free insurance are 30 years ago,” Holman said, except in public employees’ situations. He said the five percent contribution is still lower than what most employers expect from employees. Holman said he hopes the insurance situation in the United States improves next year, but that’s doubtful.

Miller said he agreed the five percent contribution is a “good call.”

Hart said it’s a “struggle” for trustees to balance being good stewards to the taxpayers and being fair to township employees. “I can support the five percent,” he said.

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