Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to the recent “City could spend more wisely” published in the Sound-off section of the EagleHerald. The fire department did take delivery of a 1-ton four-wheel-drive, four-door pick-up truck, in 2017 on a budget that was out for public review. However, the cost of the truck was not $80,000 but rather $43,000, the government bid rate. The vehicle is used as part of the Hazardous Materials Response Team and was purchased to safely tow our response trailer to wherever it may be dispatched as a County and State of Wisconsin Hazardous Materials Response System asset. The latter of which the department receives approximately $16,000 annually to be a part of, responses or not. The unit will also be used to respond to contracted responses in Oconto County, for which the department will receive $3,500 annually plus be reimbursed for wages and materials.

I would also like to point out that the department has replaced two older pick-up trucks with repurposed police department squads (Explorers). The older fire department pick-up trucks, still in serviceable condition, were purchased by the Public Works Department for $9,000 each, which was in need of two pick-ups. This covered the cost of the squads for the fire department. This was done in an effort to save taxpayer money.

We have worked very hard to keep costs down in the department, maintaining our vehicles and equipment the best we can. Unfortunately, equipment breaks down from use and old age and needs replacing from time to time and by working cooperatively and with the support of our city council and our mayor we make replacement decisions we feel are most affordable. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact my office at 715-732-5179 or stop in and see us.

 

Chief Jay Heckel

Marinette Fire Department