Fire equipment requests total $158,000

Chief’s proposals include buying grass rig truck, tools to upgrade Fredonia department
Ozaukee Press Staff

Fredonia Fire Chief Brian Weyker has laid out a list of equipment purchases for the village’s 2019 budget, that, if all were purchased, would total about $158,000.

His was one of the first such requests made to village committees in recent days as the village begins this fall’s budget process.

At the same meeting before the Public Safety Committee, Village Marshall Mike Davel said he anticipates asking for a 2% pay increase for village police officers, totaling about $1,500, and suggested the village begin setting aside money to purchase a new squad car within the next three years.

Weyker’s list, in order of priority, included  a grass rig fire truck costing $67,000; battery-powered Jaws of Life tools, $30,000; a thermal imaging unit, $7,000; steam pressure power washer, $5,000; power-load ambulance cot system, $16,000 and a hose tower winch for use in the fire station, $5,000.

Some of the items are needed to replace aging or outdated equipment, Weyker said.

For instance, the current grass rig truck was purchased in 1994; the Jaws for Life uses gas-powered engines, which are a hazard when dealing with a car on fire; and the current thermal imaging unit, purchased in 1998, is no longer effective for locating people in burning buildings.

The power-load cot system enables a single person to load someone weighing up to 600 pounds into the ambulance, potentially preventing injuries, Weyker said.

The cost of those items could be mitigated, Weyker noted. For instance, not painting the grass rig truck and leaving it black would save $10,000. And the village Public Works Department could share in the cost of the pressure washer.

Weyker and committee members both indicated not all the items would be included in the 2019 budget.

“It gives us a place to start,” committee Chairman Richard Abegglen said.

Other than the capital requests, Weyker said his department budget will remain flat at about $57,000.

Davel said a raise in pay for police officers and other miscellaneous cost increases would total about $1,700. Otherwise, he anticipates no capital requests, resulting in a total budget request of about $113,000, essentially unchanged from 2018, he said.

Davel did suggest that committee members be ready to purchase a new squad car in 2020 or 2021, at a cost of about $40,000.

Davel said his department currently has about $15,000 in reserves to help toward the purchase.

The department’s two squad cars were purchased in 2014 and 2017, he said.

Other budget discussions over the last few days also came before committees for public works and parks. The Utilities Commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday, Sept. 5, to discuss the water and sewer utility budget.



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