Public meeting to discuss fire truck situation

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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RIVER HEBERT Another rural fire department is at odds with the Municipality of Cumberland over the purchase of a new fire truck.

The River Hebert Fire Department has scheduled a public meeting on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the fire hall to discuss the countys demand that the department turn over a 1992 pumper truck purchased by the community.

We want the community to help us make a decision. We either have to give the county our old truck so they can fix it up and give it to someone else or we have to give back the truck they gave us, Chief Geordie Rector said.

River Hebert is the second fire department to find itself opposed to the countys new fire services plan that has seen the upgrading of equipment at its rural fire departments.

Westchester is presently having an audit done to back up its case that it doesnt have the $50,000 the county has asked it to provide to cover the purchase of new truck for that department. The county has threatened to pull the departments operating grant if it doesnt comply.

Rector said the existing pumper was paid for by village residents as part of a special tax rate in the early 1990s while the department put a portable pump on the front of the truck and a tank on the back.

Hes not sure residents are going to want to give up a truck they paid for even if it represents a trade for a much more modern piece of equipment.

County CAO Rennie Bugley deferred comment on the matter until following the public meeting.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: River Hebert Fire Department

Geographic location: RIVER HEBERT, Westchester

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