$1.3M in contracts OK'd for firetrucks.

AuthorLaPlaca, Debbie

Byline: Debbie LaPlaca

CHARLTON -- Selectmen have awarded the second of two contracts, which total $1.3 million, to Kovatch Mobile Equipment for the manufacture of two Fire Department trucks.

When three primary firetrucks broke down at the same time earlier this year, causing the town to borrow an engine from Spencer, residents got vocal in their support for new vehicles.

Talk turned into action when fire personnel sought a federal grant and voters opened the checkbook. The result: A new aerial ladder truck and a new engine tanker scheduled for delivery about this time next year.

Fire Chief Charles E. Cloutier Jr. told selectmen that the Apparatus Study Committee recently finished the needs analysis and specification work to buy the trucks.

"They did a fantastic job getting the specs done in a timely manner. I greatly appreciate their assistance getting us through this process,'' Chief Cloutier said.

The Fire Department's successful application for a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant brought $893,000 in July to replace the oldest vehicle in its fleet.

The 40-year-old aerial ladder truck, known as Scope 1, had been in and out of service with frequent repairs and no longer met safety standards.

Voters at the October town meeting appropriated $47,000 for the town's 5 percent match on the federal grant. The $940,000 contract was awarded to KME on Nov. 25.

Last week, selectmen awarded a $365,400 contract to the same company to manufacture a new engine tanker to replace Tanker 1 and Engine 5, which have been retired.

Town meeting voters appropriated...

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