Belmont chief will wait a year to ask for new fire truck

BELMONT — Fire Chief Dave Parenti said Monday the department won't be asking selectmen for the money to buy a fire truck at the 2014 Town Meeting.

He also said, and Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin confirmed, that selectmen agreed with Parenti at their meeting on November 18 that the town wouldn't refurbish Engine 2 — the oldest attack engine in the department's fleet.

Selectmen made their recommendations after two separate viability assessments done within the past month on the 1997 Pierce ES460 is that it is not in the best financial interests of the town to refurbish it.

The work would have have cost the town as much as $200,000.

Parenti said the Fire Department will be able to keep Engine 2 — which is its third response engine as well as the one that moves up to second when one of the other two is out of service or at a call — on the road and working using money from the regular annual maintenance budget.

He said some issues like spots of rust that have eaten through the body as well as some critical exhaust problems will be repaired. He said the brakes are "okay" for right now.

Parenti said the critical repairs will be done in part this year but mainly from the maintenance line for 2014.

He said when the capital improvement budget talks begin in late summer of 2014, he will recommend purchasing a new fire engine at that time.

The earliest he said a warrant article could go to voters is 2015 and there is about nine months of time needed to build a fire engine should voters approve it, meaning the earliest the department could have a new engine in service would be late 2015 or early 2016.