JEFFERSON — Village council approved Tuesday the purchase of a new fire truck for the fire department.

Council heard a third reading and voted unanimously in favor of entering into a contract with McConnelsville-based Finley Fire Equipment for the purchase of a $561,351 pumper fire truck.

Village Administrator Pasquale Martuccio had previously said the village planned to make payments on a seven year loan out of the village budget to cover the truck and to seek out potential grant dollars to pay it off sooner. After Tuesday's meeting he said how it will be paid back is still being sorted out.

Village Clerk Treasurer Patricia Fisher said dollars from the safety services fund will cover about 80 percent of the pay back while the remaining 20 percent will be accounted for through money that is set aside from contracts the village has to provide fire services for townships.

The truck will replace a 1983 fire truck that will eventually be sold at a public auction, fire Chief Tom Lachey has said.

The existing fire truck has been in use for nearly four decades and it is the oldest in the department’s fleet of four trucks. The truck is about six years beyond what the maximum lifespan of such a truck should be.

Although the old truck serves its purpose and has been well-maintained by the department, the village doesn’t want to be in a position of having it break down on a call which becomes a real possibility with each passing year. The fire department responds to about 200 calls per year.

The new truck will serve not only as an engine pumper, it will also be equipped with heavy-rescue equipment in an effort to alleviate some of the use of the department’s 20-year-old rescue truck.

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