London Fire seeks to replace old ladder truck

(Posted July 27, 2016)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The London Fire Department is looking to replace its 1991 90-foot ladder truck with a newer 100-foot ladder truck.

On July 21, city council held a first reading on legislation to transfer $300,000 from the fire department’s general fund into its capital fund to make the purchase.

The bid specifications call for a vehicle manufactured no earlier than 2003 at a cost not to exceed $300,000. Bids are due Aug. 12. The bid opening is set for Aug. 16.

“We really don’t want to get rid of the truck we have but we’re at that time frame where we have to do something,” said Fire Chief Todd Eades.

Industry standards call for replacement of vehicles that are 25 to 30 years old, he said. In addition to following the standards, the department wants to make the switch now while the old truck still has some trade-in or sale value.

Economics is also driving the decision to seek a used replacement. Brand new, the same truck would cost over $1.2 million, Eades said.

The additional 10-feet of ladder length will allow fire fighters to better reach the tops of the grain elevators on South Walnut Street and the roofs of some of the city’s industrial buildings.

In other city news:

  • After Aug. 17 when students return to school, the city swimming pool will be open only on weekends through Labor Day, Sept. 5. The last day is set aside for the annual Pooch Paddle, when residents can bring their dogs to take a dip in the pool.
  • Bids for the renovation of the Walnut Street property are due Aug. 2. The city properties committee will review the bids at 7 p.m. Aug. 3 in council chambers, 6 E. Second St. The city hopes to consolidate most of its department offices in the former school building on Walnut Street.
  • Stan Kavy of the Board of Public Utilities reported that the new water tower project is on schedule. The tower is ready for paint and should be up before winter.
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