Bond package going to vote

BEACON FALLS — The town is hoping to update some of its older vehicles in the police, fire, and public works departments

Voters will decide June 8 whether to bond up to $1.21 million for new vehicles. The town meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Woodland Regional High School.

The largest item is a 75-foot quintuple combination pumper fire truck. The truck, known as a quint, is $850,000.

Beacon Hose Company No. 1 Fire Chief James Trzaski said the quint would replace one of the fire department’s engines that was purchased in 1989.

“The life expectancy on that apparatus is 20 to 25 years, so we are overdue on trying to replace it,” Trzaski said.

Trzaski said the new truck has a pumper and a 75-foot aerial, which is a maneuverable, telescoping ladder.

“In replacing [the current truck] with the quint we are getting two vehicles in one,” Trzaski said.

Trzaski said the department has not had a vehicle with an aerial for 12 years. When it needs one, he said, the department has to wait for aid from another town to arrive.

“The benefit of the new apparatus is we will be able to get an aerial apparatus on scene very quickly. It will be safer for residents and safer for our members,” Trzaski said.

In addition to the engine that is being replaced the department has two other engines, one of which is primarily used as a tanker to shuttle water to a fire.

The town is also looking to buy a tractor with a boom mower for $120,000 to cut brush that grows along the side of the roads throughout town.

The town is also looking to purchase two Ford Explorers for the police department for $130,000 and a Ford F-550 dump truck with a plow and sander for the public works department for $110,000.

First Selectman Christopher Bielik said the town hasn’t bought a new police vehicle since 2013 and the all-wheel drive vehicles are needed to traverse Beacon Falls’ hilly roads in the winter.

Bielik said there was not a significant price difference for SUVs over traditional cruisers.

Voters will also be asked to approve $80,000 for brokers and other associated costs to go out to bond, Bielik said.

Board of Finance Chairman Joseph Rodorigo said the purchases will replace older equipment and help keep the town safe.

“The town has delayed capital purchases for several years. So as we move forward with adopting a capital plan for equipment it is necessary to start with items that are overdue for replacement and will improve the safety of the community,” Rodorigo said.

Rodorigo said the town decided to move forward with bonding now because it made good financial sense.

“We are buying this equipment at historic lows on the interest rates and are prepared to pay for it while maintaining fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers,” Rodorigo said.

In addition, the town plans to roll the new bond in with $3.1 million in short term notes which were previously approved coming due in July.

The total package will eliminate the town’s short term debt, Bielik said.

The Republican-American contributed to this article.

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