A new mini 1,000 gallons-per-minute water pumper truck is a step closer to reality for the Maple Creek Community Fire Department.
At its February 22 meeting, Maple Creek Town Council agreed to pay its share for a new truck, which will cost $383,110, plus taxes.
Now the fire department must wait for the RM of Maple Creek to make a decision on whether to pay its portion.
The municipality is expected to make a ruling at its March meeting.
Speaking to the News-Times last Friday, Blaine Becker, Maple Creek fire chief, said he was taking nothing granted until the decisions of the two municipalities were known.
He said a replacement was needed for one of the two pumper trucks now used by the fire department.
Both vehicles are more than 30 years old.
If the Town and RM give their approval, a new truck will be built from scratch by Fort Garry Fire Trucks, a fire apparatus manufacturer in Winnipeg.
“It would take 20 to 21 months to build,” said Becker.
At last week’s Town Council meeting, Councillor Jill Roy, who speaks on fire department issues for Council, said both the Town and RM of Maple Creek had agreed to put $150,000 into buying a used pumper truck.
However, the only truck that could be found was in the United States.
“With the exchange, you are looking at $340,000,” she said, adding that shipping and getting a truck up to Canadian standards and winter-ready were also associated costs.
Councillor Roy said the fire committee’s rationale was “we need the new truck for underwriters, so that our insurance is good”.
Although it would have a 300-gallon tank – not a 500-gallon one – it would serve the community well, both in-town and out-of-town, said Councillor Roy.
“It is similar to the truck that Shaunavon purchased,” she said. “They enjoy their truck.”
She added that the purchase would mean the Town wouldn’t have to buy new fire equipment for a few years.
Councillor Al Fournier supported the fire committee’s recommendation, believing it has been well thought out.
He said storage tanks would be onsite, able to be filled.
Barry Elliott, chief administrative officer, said a smaller truck had the advantage of being able to access more places, going into different terrain.
Councillor Tina Cresswell sought assurance that 1,000 gallons per minute was a good rate.
Councillor Roy said that it would be effective.
She said the truck would take 20 months to build, keeping underwriters happy.
“That is awesome,” said Councillor Leah Baratta.
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