Jeff council okays purchase of fire truck, changes parking on Wilcox Way

The Jefferson city council approved purchasing an ultra high pressure (UHP) fire truck at its March 13 meeting.

The $125,471 cost of the truck will come from the city’s general fund, with delivery of the truck and payment on July 1, putting it into the new fiscal year. According to mayor pro tem Harry Ahrenholtz, the intent is to include that cost in a future bond issue if it’s possible, and then reimburse the general fund.

The fire department will sell a 1991 truck when the new truck arrives, with the proceeds from the sale going into the general fund.

The motion approved by the city council called for an amount not to exceed $135,000.
“Lending” money from the general fund will save the city the cost of outside financing, Ahrenholtz said.

The UHP fire truck is a modified pickup truck. The UHP equipment allows firefighters to extinguish many fires more quickly and efficiently than traditional firefighting equipment. Using UHP equipment, a fully engulfed car can be extinguished in 15 seconds using 5-10 gallons of water. A room fully engulfed in flames an be extinguished in 30-60 seconds with as little as 20 gallons of water.

A UHP truck isn’t suitable for a large, more developed fire, but the smaller truck can save wear and tear on larger, traditional fire trucks, extending their useful years.

The council approved the 2018-19 budget following a public hearing at which no one spoke.

The council also approved a resolution limiting parking to one side of the street on E. Wilcox Way from Chestnut St east to the bike trail.

Parking will alternate sides of the street depending on the date. There will be no parking on the side of the street with odd numbered addresses (the south side) after 7 pm on days with odd numbered dates until 4 pm the following day.

There will be no parking on the side of the street with even numbered address after 7 pm on days with even numbered dates until 4 pm the following day.

The change was requested by residents who have difficulty navigating the narrow street when cars are parked on both sides. There are also concerns that emergency vehicles would not be able to get down the street.

The council approved the six projects that will be included in an owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program funded by a Community Development Block Grant obtained through the Region XII Council of Governments. The project was planned from the outset to be available for six homes.

The total project was targeted for an area north of Lincoln Way and west of Elm St. Projects will be located at 501W. State St, 503 W. State St, 509 W State St, 800 W. Washington St, 708 W. Washington St, and 204 N. Pinet St.

Thirteen applications were requested from Region XII for the program; nine were returned. Of those nine, six met the criteria of the project. A ranking method was used, but no eligible homeowner was denied.

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