Garrison Fire Seeks OK to Borrow

Wants funds to purchase “mini-pumper”

Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday (Dec. 14) to consider a proposal by the Garrison Fire District to borrow funds to purchase a “mini-pumper” fire engine.

They will also be asked to elect a fire district commissioner on the five-person board, either incumbent Nat Prentice or challenger Kyle Irish. The term is five years.

The polls will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. at the firehouse at 1616 Route 9. There are no absentee ballots available.

The estimated cost of the pumper is $449,000. Voter approval is required for the district to borrow money, such as by issuing a bond. Prentice estimates the district will need to borrow 60 percent of the price, or about $270,000, with the remainder coming from savings. Most of the purchase price, he said, will not be due until 2023. 

mini-pumper

This mini-pumper is similar to what the Garrison Fire Co. would like to purchase. (Photo provided)

If the fire district had the full purchase price in savings, it could buy the pumper without voter approval. That was the case in 2019 when the district bought a secondhand ladder truck. 

In a newsletter to residents in October, fire district officials said larger fire trucks have difficulty on Garrison’s narrow, hilly and winding roads. 

The mini-pumper is built on a Ford F-550 chassis and is 5 to 6 feet shorter than the full-size engine it will replace. That vehicle, a 2007 Marion, would be sold.

The new engine would also have four-wheel drive, making it more effective in winter than two-wheel drive, full-size engines,” said Commissioner Fred Reich. “It would serve multiple purposes, including fighting fires with water or foam, rescue and supporting off-road brush fire operations; and its Jaws of Life would be used at motor vehicle accidents.” 

The Garrison Fire District serves 2,400 residents. The owner of a home valued at $500,000 paid about $1,000 in taxes through the Town of Philipstown for fire protection in 2021. It is estimated that amount will increase by about $12 in 2022. 

The district’s proposed budget for 2022 is $787,350, a 1.5 percent increase over 2021. 

The fire district, established in 2016, is administered by five elected commissioners. Besides Prentice and Reich, the others are Linda Lomonaco, Sandy Bohl and David Brower. The Garrison Volunteer Fire Co., founded in 1929, lists 17 active firefighters on its website, including Chief Jim Erickson.

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