Selectmen to ask voters to alter bond resolution
BEACON FALLS — Voters will be asked Monday night to amend a bond resolution so the town can move forward with purchasing a new fire truck sooner rather than later.
A town meeting will be held Monday at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Woodland Regional High School to discuss and vote on the matter.
Early this month, voters authorized the town to bond up to $700,000 to buy a new 75-foot quintuple combination pumper fire truck, which is also a ladder truck. The town was planning to purchase the truck after it had applied for a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that could cover up to 90 percent of the cost. It could take until July for the town to hear if it had received the grant. The bond resolution approved impedes the purchase of the truck until July 1, 2014.
However, after a fire destroyed a home at 144 Blackberry Hill Road Sept. 8, the Board of Selectmen began looking into the possibility of purchasing the truck sooner without seeking the grant.
“Here we had a single-story structure that was on fire and just to vent the roof guys were put in harms way by putting a ladder against the building and a ladder on the roof. As the fire personnel were watching, the smoke was turning different colors and the roof could have caved in and we could have lost one of our guys through the roof into the building,” First Selectman Gerard Smith said at the board’s meeting Sept. 9.
Three people were injured in the fire.
Frederick Strumpf, who lived in the house, suffered burns to a significant part of his body in the fire, officials said. Firefighter Jim Trzaski broke his arm when he fell through the floor, which had been weakened by the fire, officials said. Firefighter Mike Rupsis sprained his elbow when he was knocked over by a hose.
The vote Monday night will be on whether to remove the encumbrance currently in the bond resolution that blocks the town from bonding for the fire truck until July.