Bond package heading to town meeting

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BFTownHall2

BEACON FALLS — The Board of Selectmen unveiled a bond resolution Monday night that looks to take on three of the town’s priciest capitol projects.

The bond resolution, which totals $1.82 million, encompasses $700,000 to pay for work on the Depot Street bridge, $700,000 for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant and $420,000 for a new fire engine.

First Selectman Gerard Smith said the resolution was only to authorize the town to move forward with the three items. The items will still have to be approved at a town meeting before the town can issue the bond.

A public hearing will be held on the funds for the wastewater treatment plant at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3 at the firehouse, 35 North Main St. A town meeting to vote on all three items will immediately follow.

The water treatment plant is the only part of the bond that will be the subject of a hearing since it is part of a much larger project. The town is planning a long-term, $16 million overhaul of the plant, which includes bringing the plant in compliance with state regulations for phosphorous and nitrogen and upgrading the town’s three pump stations.

The new fire truck would replace Beacon Hose Company No. 1’s current engine, which will be 25 years old in 2014. 

Earlier this year Fire Chief Michael Pratt told the board that the engine does not meet current safety standards. He added if it starts to break down, the truck may cost more than it’s worth to fix.

The new fire truck that Beacon Hose is looking to purchase is a ladder truck as well as a pumper. Currently, Beacon Hose does not have a ladder truck.

The Depot Street bridge portion of the bond is to cover unforeseen overruns in the renovation project. This money will bring the cost of reconstructing the bridge to $4.11 million, according to officials.

15 COMMENTS

  1. When a fire occurs, in a building, it is trapped and has no where to spread but horizontally consuming EVERYONE and EVERYTHING in its path until it may be able to vent through a window or other opening. Vertical ventilation, putting a hole in the roof is critical to slowing the fire’s destruction. This is an essential function. This type of ventilation will allow the fire, smoke and heated gases to escape upward preventing mushrooming, flashover or a backdraft to happen. It also creates a better environment for rescue teams to search for possible victims and put the fire out.

    Beacon falls has muplitple condos and apartment buildings that are way out of reach with the 24 foot ladder we carry on our truck currently. yes 24 feet fully extended but that does not subtract the climbing angle which subtracts a few feet. mpst off these building only have one way in and out. so if there is a fire and the only way out if a window over 2 stories tall what would you like us to tell them Mr. Wisdom ? HOLD ON ? we are waiting for another fire deparmtent because of a few dollers ?

    Depending on whats burning in a structure fire can double between 25-60 seconds. we just dont have the time to wait for other deparmtents, and that is if they are avalible.

  2. well its preaty clear wisdom has the solutions for everything so when you comne down to vote no, pick up an application for the fire department to see the need of a ladder truck, or the latest and up to date equipment.

    While you sleep and night in your warm bed these men and women sacrfice time away from family sleep and countless of other thing not to mention put there lives on the line. the least we can do is give them the proper equipment to do the job quickly, safetly and efficently!

  3. I agree with JR we all need to attend the public hearing and listen to the presentation. What I read in Wisdom’s comments is vote no on everything just to vote no. Yes I understand he or she does not want their taxes to go up. Does everyone understand that the wastewater proposal is just to do a study for a later Multi-Million dollar (is it $15 million?) upgrade to the plant? What ever happened to the multi-million dollar road package? Sell the house on the hill as we will never build a new library, and use those funds to offset some of these other expenses.

    There is no escaping what is coming. A lack of planning & action from a previous administration is going to haunt us for years to come. We were left a legacy alright.

  4. Actually, Beacon Hose Company has sought and received over $500,000 in grants over the past few years. If fact, there are vehicles and equipment in the firehouse right now that were purchased from grants applied for by Beacon Hose. Another fact is that grants are not as plentiful as they once were. I will be at the firehouse tonight conducting training if you would like to learn more about the ladder truck or to look at the equipment we received through grants.

  5. I been hearing how we need a new firetruck for years now. So my question is this, Why has not the town or fire department made any real attempt to apply for grants to offset the cost to taxpayers? They only come out and and site safety concerns when it suits them. The cost of the entire bond package, all three items, will send this community further into debt. Any increase in insurance rates will be minor to the increase in taxes. Please for the future of the town come out and VOTE NO!!!!

  6. Again I ask that everyone attend the meeting and ask whatever questions are on you mind. If you feel the town could do without a ladder truck, say so at the meeting. Let the fire dept. (volunteers) explain the benefits of the truck they proposed. I am a firefighter in BF and feel the truck proposed is a good combination of a pumper and ladder in one.

  7. Speaking to the question about homeowners insurance, did anyone notice that their insurance went up? Several factors probably are the reason, but the firetruck is most likely one issue. I have been told that now that the aging truck has reached 25 years of service, insurance rating agencies automatically downgrade the vehicle from Class A to Class B, listing it as a backup and not a front line vehicle.

    In addition the rating agencies look at a municipality basing our insurance rating on three items related to “fire” preparedness: (1) The amount/volume of water that the fire dept has on-hand in its trucks when it leaves the firehouse, (2) The number of hydrants in town. (3) Do you have a ladder truck.

    We pass on #2. We fail on #3. Because of our 25 year old truck, we have reduced water capacity not having a Class A-Front line truck.

    I understand the idea of directly saving taxpayers by looking towards the FEMA grant. But I have also been told that to win this grant you must show need and since the Truck is not out-of-service, we may fail the “need” requirement. Is it worth the risk waiting for another year to replace the firetruck? It looks to me that we should pass the bond resolution for the firetruck, and buy it through traditional bonding.

  8. I am curious why wisdom would just say vote no to everything included in this proposal. I do think the fire truck is around $700,000, but still, will its cost offset our homeowners insurance as I have heard in the past? Can we afford not to have a truck to replace this 25 year old truck?

    The bridge has been reported in this paper multiple times. This proposal is to pay for the overages that the former Democratic administration of Susan Cable left as a legacy. This plus the streetscape and the road she lives on cost we taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars in project overruns.

    The waste water upgrades have been reported in this paper as well. The town may be fined tens of thousands of dollars everyday if the plant is not upgraded to meet federal and state standards. The plant is over 40 years old and I do not think it has ever been upgraded.

    I see no wisdom to come to a conclusion to vote no without going to the public hearing that will be held to present and discuss these issues.

  9. There may be an error in reporting the numbers. I believe I heard the ladder truck will cost over $700,000.

  10. If these pass it will cripple this town in taxation.Please for the sake of the town come out and vote no