Humboldt approves fire truck repairs

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October 31, 2017 - 12:00 AM

HUMBOLDT – With the obvious decision apparent, Humboldt council members authorized purchase of a new pump section assembly for the city’s 25-year-old fire truck at a special meeting Monday evening.
Cost will be $21,200, said Chief of Volunteers Sean McReynolds. A spokesman for Weis Fire & Safety Equipment Co., Salina, estimated repairs could range to $19,500, or nearly as much a new assembly. A Humboldt truck company, Heisler Hay and Grain, agreed to haul the fire truck to and from Salina for $1,500, about $1,000 less than Weis’s estimate.
A leak, which led to discovery of problems with the pump, was noticed when volunteers gave a demonstration with the truck at Humboldt Elementary School.
McReynolds is in the process of having a grant application prepared, with hopes of attracting as much as 95 percent of what a new truck’s estimated cost, $342,000. “We’ll know about the grant the middle of next year,” McReynolds said. If it is successful, the city would supplement funding from a federal Assistance to Firefighters award from fire department reserves of $52,000.
City Administrator Cole Herder proposed to pay for the new pump components from the city’s general fund, and then, depending on finances, perhaps transfer money from fire reserves before the end of 2017.
While the city truck is out of commission, a rural volunteers’ truck, recently replaced and about to go on the auction block, will be made available.
At 25 years old, McReynolds said the city truck was living on borrowed time, adding, “15 years usually is the life of a fire truck.”
Also, the laid up city truck has a standard transmission – many volunteers are much more familiar with automatic – and has a gasoline engine, rather than today’s standard, a diesel.

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