By Amanda Ensinger
The Prairie Township board of trustees approved several pieces of legislation that will help the fire department.
Among the items approved at a recent meeting was to spend over $67,300 on turnout gear for the firefighters. The department purchased 27 sets of the gear from Janesville Structural Firefighting at a cost of $2,495 per set.
The township received three separate quotes, including from Morning Pride at $2,598 per set and FireDex at $2,474 per set. According to Prairie Township Administrator Rob Peters, Janesville turnout gear exceeded expectations. Points that were considered included fit, sizing, durability, quality, service and repair.
“Janesville also offers upgrades for cancer prevention that can be made at a later date at a minimal cost,” Peters said.
Peters also asked the board to approve the disposal of ballistic vests, several sets of obsolete turnout gear and other miscellaneous items. He said the items were discovered during extensive cleaning at the stations and said the items have no value.
Fire officials also announced that they have recently put into service their new 2020 Sutphen Monarch engine. It features a 1,500 gallon per minute pump and a 1,000-gallon tank. The truck was purchased in 2019 through Heritage Fire Equipment at a cost of $551,336.
The new truck replaces an engine purchased in 2011. Built on a smaller wheelbase, and with greater compartment organization, the truck is better suited to maneuver smaller residential streets while still carrying all necessary fire and rescue equipment.
“In order for us to serve the public to the best of our ability, we need to have good equipment,” said Prairie Township Fire Chief Allen Scott. “In order to have good equipment, we need to have community support. We truly appreciate that support.”
In other township news, the board approved spending $60,000 on the installation of gates at the four Galloway Road Sports Complex baseball fields. The township also accepted a $30,000 donation toward the fences and gates from the Galloway Baseball Club.
The board also approved contributing $50,000 for low-income seniors in the township as part of the annual Modcon Living home improvements.
“These improvements will take place in 2021,” Peters said. “Right now, they are looking at improving homes in the Mix Avenue and Stiles regions of the township. If you are interested in applying for improvements, contact Modcon for more information.”
Since 2018, the group has focused on improving one neighborhood in Prairie Township each year. In previous years they have worked on homes in the Little Farms, Lincoln Village North and Rome Heights.
Typically, around 70 homes are repaired and are picked on a first-come, first-served basis based on meeting the criteria and repairs that need to be done. Repairs include electrical and plumbing updates, furnaces and hot water tank replacements, fire safety and fall prevention improvements.
The goal of the program is to help low income seniors and disabled homeowners repair their homes so they live in a safe environment and live in their homes as long as possible.
For more information on Modcon Living, visit www.modconliving.org.