Council Allows Fire Department To Apply For Grant
The Watertown city council voted three to two Tuesday night to let the city's fire department apply for a grant for a new truck.
"I look at it as a future vehicle that we do not have to pay for through city funds, city taxpayers," said council member Joe Butler.
Fire officials say it wouldn't cost the city a dime, as all of the funding would come from a state grant.
Battalion Chief Matt Timerman says the truck would be used to tow the department's heaviest trailer, which carries equipment for technical rescues like building collapses.
The department already has a truck, but it can only pull about 15,000 pounds and the trailer is starting to weigh more than that.
"So they're both at maximum capacity," Timerman said. "It doesn't work too badly here in the city of Watertown, but if we were to respond a longer distance it gets a little difficult."
Council members Roxanne Burns and Jeff Smith voted against the request.
Smith says the department should focus its efforts on fighting local fires.
"If you take this truck it's not a free truck, even though it's a grant and it's paid for, but if the firefighters go outside the city or somewhere else in mutual aid, then the back-fall is the city taxpayer pays for that," he said.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Watertown, NY
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