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New Fire Truck On Early Capital Budget Approval List

Borough clerk reminds council this is only the beginning of the process

A $726,000 rescue truck for the fire department was at the top of the list of items approved by the Point Pleasant Borough Council as it continued to lay out the 2012 budget.

Also receiving preliminary approval Tuesday night were a pair of Chevy Tahoes for the police department and two new vehicles for the construction department.

The council’s workshop hearings continue Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building.

Borough Clerk David Maffei noted the votes the council members took Tuesday night merely allowed the town to budget for items.

“This is not the final approval,” he said, noting that the council has to introduce the budget, vote to approve the budget, and then items – particularly things such as the rescue truck – will have to be bonded, meaning there are further opportunities to discuss the expenditures.

The rescue truck, the largest single item presented in the capital requests from the town’s various department, is needed to replace a truck that is now 25 years old, Fire Chief Dan Mulligan said. There are three fire vehicles that are 20 years old or older, and the cost of repairing the vehicles is increasing. Maintenance alone costs $30,000 per year, he said, and some parts are extremely difficult to find.

“Right now, there are some things where we’re keeping it broken if it’s not necessary to keep it (the truck) running,” Mulligan said.

The longest discussion was over a request from the construction department for three new vehicles. Currently, Maffei said, there are inspectors in the department forced to use their own vehicles to travel around town doing inspections, because there are not enough vehicles.

Councilman Robert Sabosik questioned the need for three vehicles and asked about transferring a vehicle the police department is retiring – a Crown Victoria sedan – to the construction department.

But concerns were raised about relying on that as a solution.

“We don’t even know if it runs,” Councilwoman Antoinette DiPaolo said.

The council compromised on approving two of the three vehicles requested by the department, rather than forcing the inspectors to use their own vehicles and get reimbursed for the mileage.

Check back with Patch later in the day for more details from Tuesday's meeting.

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