April 20 2016

Selectmen Support $180K in Capital Expenses for Fire Department, Truck for Police

By: Rich Hosford

The Board of Selectmen last week approved four capital spending articles for the Fire Department for the May 9 Town Meeting warrant. 


The articles all fall within the $2.5 million the town sets aside each year for capital expenditures, Town Administrator John Petrin explained. The board also voted on capital expenditures proposed by the Burlington Police Department and Department of Public Works. 


The items were presented by Chief Steve Yetman and Assistant Chief Mike Patterson. In total they add up to just under $180,000. 


The first was $41,283 to replace an 11-year-old Chevy Impala used administrative vehicle. Yetman said the current vehicle needs a new transmission and the cost of the repair is not worth the expense consider its condition. The cost of the new vehicle includes adding radios and the insurance.  


The second article is for $55,025 to replace a shift command vehicle that is used in primary response by the shift commanders. The current vehicle is 15-years-old and needs frame and body work. 


The third article is for $58,547 for an air compressor to fill the firefighter’s self-contained breathing apparatus. The current system is 28-years-old and the life expectancy is 20 years. 


“If it breaks they won’t support it anymore, Yetman said of the vendor. “It’s not an issue yet but it would be if it broke.”


Patterson said he did apply for a federal grant for this piece of equipment, like he did for the breathing devices last year, but the department won’t know if it is approved until after Town Meeting. If it is any funds from the grant will be used and the money saved will be put into the general fund. 


The final article is for $29,941 for a station access control system. Yetman said this is a card system to replace the current key system. 


“There really is no security,” he said. “With this if there was a threat the dispatcher could lock both buildings down with a single button.” 


The new system would also allow different members get different levels of access and allow management to track who goes through what door and at what time in the case of unauthorized use. 


The members of the Board of Selectmen voted 5-0-0 to add each article to the May 9 Town Meeting warrant. 


Selectmen also approved $37,085 for the Burlington Police Department for a new vehicle for the animal control officer. Petrin said until now they have allocated used cruisers for the officer but now they would purchase a truck designed for the job. This includes separations so rescued animals are kept apart from roadkill. 

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