Humboldt OKs fire truck purchase

New fire truck, nearly identical to current truck, needed to replace aging vehicle.



September 15, 2020 - 10:25 AM

Photo by Google Maps

Humboldt leaders agreed to begin the process of buying a “sister” firetruck for its volunteer fire department. 

“The commercial and industrial growth of town is getting ahead of our current fire-fighting capacities,” volunteer fire chief Sean McReynolds told city council members Monday night. “One truck is not sufficient.”

The new truck will be “almost identical” to one the Rural Fire District No. 4 purchased three years ago and is stationed at the Humboldt fire barn. Earlier this year, the city and the rural fire department joined forces. Logan and Humboldt townships comprise the rural fire district. 

McReynolds said they will purchase the new engine from Toyne Fire Apparatus Manufacturers out of Breda, Iowa, the same manufacturer of the 3-year-old pumper.

Having similar models will allow firefighters to use either truck with ease, he said.

Humboldt’s current truck is 27 years ago and nighing extinction. The newer model will hold 1,200 gallons of water, as opposed to 1,000, and have an automatic transmission and run on diesel fuel.

“Being a standard transmission and running on gasoline,” basically render the old engine “unsaleable,” said McReynolds.

When queried, McReynolds said he hasn’t asked sales representatives what they think the city could get for the old engine. 

“I’d hate to guess,” he said. 

As for keeping it, “there’s nowhere to park it,” he said, noting the fire barn’s capacity is two engines.

Funding for the almost $365,000 engine will consist of two parts.

First is a relatively small grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant is capped at $50,000, of which Humboldt qualifies for only 35%.

The larger portion of the bill will come from a loan, either from the USDA or a bank. 

Cole Herder, city administrator, said the city has about $62,000 in its reserve fire department funds. For the last six years the city has been socking away a little more than $10,000 a year for such a purpose. Herder expects loan payments of $17,000 a year. 

When asked if this will affect monies needed for street repairs, Herder said no.