December 19, 2007 Edition

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Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers (from left), Alderman Paula Haskins, WRFD Chief Alan Haskins and Alderman Michael "Button" Wallin look at a photo of a ladder truck the city is hoping to purchase for the fire department.
TD Photo ~ Gloria Wilkerson

WR to bid on ladder truck

Gloria Wilkerson
TD Staff

At a special council meeting on Tuesday, aldermen voted to bid up to $60,000 on a 1980 ladder truck for the city's fire department.

"A brand new ladder truck would sell for $850,000," said Alderman Michael "Button" Wallin.

"Walnut Ridge needs a ladder truck," Wallin said. "A lot of the buildings on Main Street are two or three stories high and we also have warehouses which could benefit from the truck. If they caught fire, we couldn't put them out just spraying from the side of the buildings; we need to be able to spray from the air.

"The current bid on the truck if $8,500, and I would like the council to approve a $60,000 bid cap. I think we can get it for less than that," Wallin said.

"If we purchase the truck it would bring our ISO rating down. We're working to get our rating down to a four or a three, which would lower insurance costs for the citizens of Walnut Ridge," Wallin told the council.

Aldermen voted to offer a bid of up to $60,000.

The truck is being sold by a Kansas fire department and would need extra equipment to outfit it to meet ISO requirements. Equipment would include pike poles, axes, hand tools, hoses and nozzles.

Walnut Ridge Fire Chief Alan Haskins said the extra equipment would cost between three and five thousand dollars. The truck would also need to be hauled to Walnut Ridge from Kansas at a cost of $1,500 to $1,800. "It would cost that much to drive it here with the price of fuel as high as it is," Haskins said.

Wallin is currently checking into grants which might help pay for the truck.

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