“It’s a one-year equipment millage to pay for a part of a quint,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said.
The apparatus was given the quint name for the five functions it provides: pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device and ground ladders.
The millage is for 0.59 mill for all property in the township. This would cost $29.50 for homeowners with a home with a taxable value of $50,000.
The estimate of the revenue the Township will collect if the millage is approximately $383,021. The remaining cost of the quint — about $400,000 — would be paid for with general fund cash reserves.
Fire Chief Tom Gerencer said that in 2009, the township was able to use fund balance to purchase a tanker. This wasn’t possible this time due to the economy, he said.
“We would have saved up for this new piece of apparatus if the taxable value didn’t go down with our houses,” Gerencer said. “It has become necessary.”
The quint would replace a 1989 vehicle that is currently out of service and serves as the township’s second out truck. Gerencer said the truck has been out of service for the past three months.
“This 1989 (engine), its life expectancy is 20 years old. We’ve gone over that,” Gerencer said. “We always hope to get 20 years out of a piece of apparatus.”
The new apparatus is 36 feet long and carries a 75-foot aerial ladder. It will allow firefighters to ventilate roofs beginning at about 80 seconds rather than the 7.5 minutes it takes to set up ladders with a traditional engine.
Gerencer said the new truck improves safety by eliminating dangerous outside riding seats with limited safety restraints, it adds foam firefighting technology, and the inclusion of an aerial ladder would allow easier roof access.
“With a quint-style truck, it allows us to get to the roof quicker to put a vent hole in, if needed,” Gerencer said.
Gerencer noted that if voters approve the millage, he would look to the township board to determine what to do with the older 1989 engine.
“It is kind of up in the air with what we’re going to do with that truck right now,” he said.
He said the township could either refurbish the truck for use as a backup or sell it.
According to Cargo, the township currently does not have a plan in the event the millage proposal fails.
“We’d have to go back to the drawing board,” Cargo said. “We haven’t thought out what the alternative would need to be.”