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New $1 million fire truck needed by MCFD

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – The Mason City Fire Department needs a new 105 foot fire engine.

The cost would be roughly $1 million. The Mason City Council held a budget hearing last Tuesday and this was a major topic.

Click here to view photos of the current 105 foot engine, which would become a backup to the new engine.

It was an option to pay half in this year’s (2013) budget and the other half in the 2014 budget, and that seemed to be most acceptable to the council members, who all agreed that public safety was a top priority.

“I think it’s necessary,” said Councilman John Lee of going ahead with the purchase.

“I’m finally to the point where I agree it’s a priority,” Councilman Scott Tornquist said. “How we work it into the budget, I guess I’d look for a recommendation from staff. I’m more interested in the bottom line. The recovery hasn’t come full circle back to Mason City yet.”  He mentioned many Mason City residents are on fixed incomes.

Fire Chief Bob Platts explained the need in more detail to

“We are asking to purchase a second aerial unit in addition to our current 2321 or Truck 1,” Platts said. “Our current aerial was built in 1997 by Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, WI. There are a number of Manufacturers of Fire Equipment in the US. For ISO reasons we should maintain 1 reserve piece of apparatus for every unit required for response. Our first due assignment is 2 Engines and 1 Aerial. So we should have those pieces of equipment in reserve.”

The Council will discuss this expenditure and others this coming week at its next budget hearing, scheduled for Tuesday evening at City Hall.

Watch video of council discussion of fire truck expenditure:

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