City Commission approves purchase of new fire truck

(KNZA)--The Hiawatha Fire Department will be getting a new brush truck to aid in fighting rural fires.

On the recommendation of Fire Chief Patrick Sheldon, the Hiawatha City Commission Monday evening approved the purchase of 2023 Ford F-550 Prairie Ranger Brush Truck from Hays Fire and Rescue Sales and Service in the amount of $168,330. It was the lowest among three bids received.

The action was taken on a 3-1 vote, with Commissioner Brian Shefferd casting the dissenting vote. Commissioner Toni Hull was absent.

The truck will come with a 500-gallon tank, 200 gallons more than the current truck.

The truck will replace a 1990 model, which is no longer dependable. Plans are to use that truck as a backup unit.

Funding that had been budgeted for a building addition will be reallocated to fund the purchase of the new truck. Plans are apply for grant funds to assist in completing the building addition at a later time.

In other business, the Commission accept a bid from Amusement Restoration Companies in the amount of $44,584 for improvements at the Aquatic Park. The improvements will include the repainting of the slide tower, slide and mushroom spray feature. It was lowest among two bids received. ARPA funding will be utilized to pay for the improvements.

Also discussion was held on property a 310 Hiawatha Avenue, which has been on the city's minimum housing code violation list since 2020. Property owner Michelle Martindale was present for the discussion. She said she hoped to work on the roof this week, weather allowing. While commissioners noted the property has been cleaned up, voiced concerns about the safety of the house itself. Commissioner Shefferd said he didn't have any luck finding a third-party willing to inspect the house. Further discussion on the property was tabled to the commission's November 13th meeting.

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