By Michael Mell
By a margin of only 2 votes, residents of the North Highlands Fire District approved the purchase of a new pumper/rescue truck. The 42/40 vote authorizes an expenditure not to exceed $600,000 for the new vehicle. $405,000 will be appropriated from the capital reserve fund and the balance from the issue of bonds later this fall.
Purchase and manufacture of the new apparatus are expected to take 12 months and the district is not required to make any payments during that time. Payment will not begin until delivery and acceptance of the vehicle. The bonds will be paid back in equal payments of approximately $20,000 over the course of 10 years. In 2012 the district will complete repayment of bonds issued for an earlier capital purchase and monies budgeted for that repayment will now be directed toward payment of the new bond issue. District Secretary and Treasurer Kristin VanTassel told Philipstown.info that she does not expect that the purchase will cause a spike in residents’ taxes.
With an eye towards consolidation, the new vehicle serves as both a pumper and rescue truck, combining two trucks into one. It will replace two of the district’s older pumper trucks purchased in 1969 and 1974. Philipstown board member John VanTassel said that he “believes it is a wise purchase that will consolidate two vehicles into one and reduce preventive maintenance.”