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Massena village plans to bond to purchase new fire engine

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MASSENA - Village officials plan to bond to finance the lease of a new fire truck to replace an aging pumper.

The village’s Board of Trustees will vote March 19 on a resolution to take out $475,000 in bonds to finance the purchase of a new pumper engine, according to village officials. If approved, the bonds would be subject to a permissive referendum, which mandates that any action on the bonds be delayed for a 30-day waiting period in order to allow concerned members of the public to petition against the bonding.

Massena Volunteer Fire Department Chief Thomas Miller said the new engine truck would replace either a 1987-model truck or a smaller 1989-model truck. “Both have cost us large amounts of money repairing them over the years,” Mr. Miller said.

Mr. Miller described the pumper truck the department is seeking to purchase as an “initial-attack, front-line truck.” The pumper is equipped with water, hoses, ladders, ventilation equipment, air packs and other equipment that is critical to extinguishing a blaze. It is the first vehicle to respond to the scene of a fire, he said.

The fire department currently has a fleet of six vehicles, including a tanker truck, a tower ladder, an equipment truck, two full-sized pumpers and the smaller 1989-model pumper, specially designed to extinguish grass fires.

Replacing the smaller 1989-model pumper could provide firefighters with another resource for responding to fires and would save on the costs of repairing the trucks.

Trustee Patricia K. “Trish” Wilson said the village board’s Fire Committee has previously considered utilizing $50,000 from the fire equipment capital fund to make a down-payment on the truck in order to reduce interest costs on the financing. However, interest rates are so low now that village officials may find it preferable to finance the purchase without the utilization of reserve funds.

In other news from the fire station, assena Fire Department Foreman and career firefighter Ken McGowan said fellow career firefighter Walt Bean had completed his code compliance training, bringing to six the number of Massena career firefighters trained in code enforcement.

Following the retirement of former Code Enforcement Officer Gregory C. Fregoe on Jan. 22, the fire department has been responsible for code enforcement in the village.

Three career firefighters, Mr. McGowan, Aaron Hardy and Bill O’Brien, are fully trained code enforcement officers. Three others, Mr. Bean, Jeremy Lefeve and Matt Tuper, are trained as code compliance technicians.

A code compliance technician is trained in enforcing the fire and property maintenance codes, but is not certified in other code enforcement officer duties, such as issuing building permits or inspecting new construction projects.

Mr. Tuper recently began his code enforcement training, Mr. McGowan told the village board. Once Mr. Tuper’s training is complete, the Massena Fire Department will be able to keep one official fully trained in code enforcement on staff at all times of the week, according to Mr. McGowan.

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