To The Daily Sun,
We need Ashland voters' support on Article 3 — to purchase a new fire engine.
Engine 2 is in deteriorating mechanical and structural condition. It has been in service since 1994 and has reached the end of its useful life. Due to its mechanical condition and extensive body rot, it poses a safety risk to department personnel and the townspeople. Two independent third-party evaluators have recommended replacing this engine. The Selectboard, the Fire Department Apparatus Committee and the CIP Committee also recommend the replacement of Engine 2.
The proposed engine will have a custom cab and chassis, which will last longer, is safer to operate, easier to maneuver, and is tailored to meet the specific needs of Ashland's community and department. The total cost is $520,390. $125,000 will come from capital reserve, leaving $395,390 to be paid in five yearly installments of $79,098.
The tax impact for 2016 is $0. Beginning in 2017, the impact will be 53 cents per $1,000 of property evaluation, or $53 a year on a $100,000 house. A five-year loan saves the town about $30,000 over a 10-year loan.
Our membership in the Lakes Region Mutual Aid Association requires that we be able to provide primary fire protection within our own community. Without Engine 2, we would be dropped from Mutual Aid because we would be unable to provide primary protection in Ashland or support for other communities.
Please vote "Yes" on Ashland's Article 3.
Mardean Badger & David Toth