Lee Board of Fire Commissioners mulls truck auction, approves equipment buy

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TOWN OF LEE — Plans to seek a buyer for a 30-year-old pumper fire truck that has been used by the Lee Center Volunteer Fire Department, plus various equipment purchases for the department, were among topics for the town Board of Fire Commissioners.

The board’s meeting Monday night, in the bingo hall at Lee Center FIremen’s Field including social distancing under guidelines relating to COVID-19, was its first in-person session in five months; the board had been conducting virtual remote meetings.

• To sell the pumper vehicle which is from around 1990, the board and fire department representatives discussed possibly using the Auctions International company, which includes online auctions. It has previously sold other Lee Center fire department vehicles.

The pumper vehicle has been stripped down and is ready, Lee Center Fire Chief Joseph Kieffer told the board. Various items such as hoses needed by the department have been removed, Lee Center fire department President William Baker said after the meeting.

Baker, who also is town highway superintendent, offered to store the truck in a highway department storage building for now. Kieffer said the truck should be alright until cold weather arrives, and board Chairman Tracy Carpenter observed “we’ve got a few months untll the snow comes in.’”

Purchasers of such fire trucks conceivably can include other fire departments, or different companies that may strip down the chassis and make other uses of the vehicle, Baker commented afterward.

The Lee Center fire department recently put a new mini-pumper vehicle into service after delays due to COVID-19 factors. The board in late 2018 approved an approximately $256,000 purchase for the vehicle, which was built in stages before arriving at the fire department in March. Baker said it is replacing the other pumper vehicle.

• The board approved $2,041 in equipment purchases for the department.

About $1,769 of the expense was for two rescue struts that can be used for stabilizing vehicles and buildings such as at emergency calls. Also included was $150 for repairs to a dry hydrant site; such locations can include a pipe system for lakes, ponds and streams in areas not served by a regular fire hydrant. The expenses are within the Lee fire district budget, Carpenter noted.

The commissioners board manages fire protection within the taxpayer-funded fire district and oversees the Lee Center fire department, plus it has a contract with the independent Lake Delta Volunteer Fire Department.

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