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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Open Bids Feb. 24 For New Peshtigo Fire Truck

Issue Date: January 30, 2020

Okaying specifications for a new fire engine and setting bid opening for 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24 were the main agenda items for the City of Peshtigo's Fire Lighting and Building Committee at its 10 a.m. meeting on Thursday, Jan. 23.

Present were Alderman Mike Behnke, who chairs the committee; Aldermen John Berendt and Jillian Schutte, who are members of the committee; Mayor Cathi Malke, Fire Chief Chuck Gardon, Parks and Recreation Director Shawn Northrop, and Tony O'Neil.

Gardon reminded everyone that the truck being replaced has served the city for 46 years. He said he and other members of Fire Department have been working on specifications for the new vehicle since November. Each committee member had been provided in advance with a copy of the 63 pages of specifications.

Gardon explained they will save a considerable amount by moving existing equipment that is in good working condition from the old truck to the new one when arrives rather than buy all new. He discussed features they seek in a new fire engine, explained state requirements, discussed need to prepare for the future, and responded to questions from committee members.

Among the questions was one from Schutte, who asked what the warranty covers. Gardon said fire trucks are inspected weekly. He also explained the new truck will feature a "clean cab," with provisions for removing gear and outer wear before re-entering the vehicle after a fire to prevent contaminants from entering the truck.

Malke thanked Gardon for all the work in preparing the specifications and asked him to thank his committee as well.

Also discussed was always having a spotter when backing fire trucks.

Time and date for opening bids was set after long discussion, during which Behnke stressed that since they are working with taxpayer's money they want to give ample time for vendors to prepare and submit their bids. The opening on Feb. 24 allows enough time for prospective bidders to prepare responses. Approval of the recommended bid is expected at the subsequent City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 3.

City Attorney Dave Spangenberg was contacted for input as to proper wording for the motions authorizing the bids.

Schutte commented to Gardon that the firefighters are not volunteers, since they get paid to be on the department. She suggested in future they could hold fund raisers and look for grants to buy needed equipment.

Malke objected to this statement, declaring it is the city's responsibility to be sure the Fire Department has the equipment needed to do its job.

Gardon said in the past the fire department has hosted firemen's breakfasts and used funds raised to buy equipment.

The committee briefly discussed a request that the city plow the city-owned vacant lot at 311 French Street, just east of the Municipal Building, but took no action. Schutte said it is the city's responsibility to remove snow from the sidewalk in front of the lot, but plowing the lot to provide parking spaces is not. Behnke said the topic would be tabled for a future meeting.

The only other business was approval of minutes from the last committee meeting, which was on Oct 18, 2019.


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