TEMPERANCE — Bedford Township will be getting a new fire truck.
The board last week authorized the purchase of a Pierce Top Mount Pumper for $418,821.
The truck will join the township department’s fleet of “first-out” engines, which is getting on in years. Three of the four rigs are 20 years old; the newest dates to 2008.
The purchase will be financed with a 2.57 percent installment loan from Monroe Bank and Trust. Payments of $22,189 will be made quarterly for five years, starting Dec. 15.
Interim Fire Chief Jim Neorr and the township’s fire commission had recommended the purchase of two engines, given the age of the fire department’s equipment, but this option was deemed too expensive.
The recommendation was because the cost of new fire engines has been increasing by $13,000 per year or more, and the township’s older equipment was rapidly losing its trade-in or resale value because it was expensive to maintain.
“The trucks are starting to wear out” and would need repairs if they were not traded in, Chief Neorr told the board, adding that the older equipment was not as safe as the new trucks.
The new pumper will have an aluminum body and a 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump. The vote to purchase it was 4-2 and was taken after a spirited discussion. Clerk Trudy Hershberger was absent because her husband was ill.
Trustees Paul Pirrone and Nancy Tienvieri voted no because they considered the Pierce too costly.
“Bedford can’t afford a Pierce truck,” Mr. Pirrone said, and he urged the board to look for a cheaper brand.
Ms. Tienvieri said the township did not receive bids from other manufacturers of fire trucks because “Bedford is a Pierce house, and they didn’t want to waste their time and effort.”
Trustee Rick Steiner asked Chief Neorr if other brands were as durable as Pierce. The chief said no and recalled a truck that had “rusted out before our eyes.”
The board also approved a personal property tax exemption for a firm that plans to locate a manufacturing facility at 7177 Crabb Rd.
Bozell North America LLC produces calcium silicon cored wire and will employ 27 local residents when its $1 million worth of equipment is up and running on its leased property.
Treasurer Paul Francis said the firm was exactly the kind of business Bedford Township needed. Added Trustee Larry O’Dell: “This is a win for us, this is a win for them. I applaud them for coming to Bedford. This is a good place to establish a business.”