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Ladder truck a good purchase
The the letter criticizing the VRFA purchase of a ladder truck (Jeanne Herold, Auburn Reporter, July 9) needs a response.
First, it should be pointed out that this purchase was not something that was just a spur of the moment purchase. The VRFA governance board, after looking at both short- and long-term needs, placed a measure on the (Feb. 19, 2008 state presidential primary) ballot for voters to decide that included this ladder truck. The voters approved this measure to build or upgrade fire stations, purchase equipment and specifically fund the purchase of a ladder truck by just under 65 percent.
The HME ladder truck was actually purchased under the initial cost presented to voters and provided more options for the VRFA than any other truck in the state.
In addition to its 110-foot vertical reach, it also has the ability to work at a 22-degree negative angle that can work below grade, such as a river rescue. The reach for this truck not only works for taller buildings, which are in our region’s future, but also provides the ability to more safely cover our region’s warehouses.
This was not a squandering of the taxpayers' money as the writer claimed, but actually an example of where the VRFA exceeded what it promised to the voters.
Now, as for the claim we could have found an equally efficient ladder truck in the country, HME is headquartered in the Midwest and is built in the U.S. It does include a Metz Crane, which is built in Germany; however, Metz is one of the few providers worldwide of these type assemblies. For the options that this truck provides over other manufactures, plus the cost being less than what was originally presented, I feel the voters can be proud of the VRFA and their new ladder truck.
– Richard Hildreth, Mayor, City of Pacific, and VRFA governance board member