After two years of planning, negotiating and fundraising, the Culver-Union Township Fire Department will be getting an aerial fire truck.
The Rosenbauer 100-foot low-profile Viper Aerial Fire Truck will be purchased at a price of about $1,008,000. The funds are coming from the Town of Culver, Union Township, Culver Academies, and as many as 125 donors, on a six-year rotation plan of truck equipment at the fire department.
The decision didn’t come without opposition from Town Council members Bill Cleavenger and Bill Githens who voiced concerns about financial commitments for the purchase of the aerial truck, in addition to the fact that fundraising is still short $18,509.
Council member Rich West also felt the same about the financing aspect of the project, but supported the need for safety of the firefighters and the citizens of Culver who will benefit greatly from this equipment.
Council President Ginny Bess Munroe stated that a commitment from Culver Academies is solid and paperwork noting that commitment will be discussed with the board members there as a new headmaster is slated to start work in about six weeks and is not privy to negotiations.
Cleavenger asked if the aerial truck is replacing a truck on the fleet and Fire Chief Terry Wakefield said a 1996 pumper truck will be replaced and later sold. Cleavenger made a motion to simply purchase a new pumper truck as that money is already on hand. Githens amended the motion to include that the donors have the option of taking back their donation or submit it into an interest account to be used for a future use by the fire department. The measure did not pass with three council members in opposition of the motion.
After much more discussion, Munroe made a motion to move forward with the purchase of the aerial fire truck and extend the rotation of the fire trucks to a six-year rotation, pay an additional $40,000 for that additional year of payment, and use CCD funds in the budget to complete the shortfall of $18,509. The fire department will be allowed to raise funds to reimburse the CCD fund for the shortfall. Munroe, Councilman Joel Samuelson and West supported the motion while Cleavenger and Githens opposed the motion. With a majority vote, the purchase was approved.
Wakefield thanked the council on their decision and added that the truck will be built to the fire department’s specifications so it will be about a year before the truck is parked at the fire house.