Southborough is getting a new ladder truck

Without so much as a peep, voters last night approved funds to purchase a new ladder truck. For the Ladder Truck Committee, it was the culmination of 18 months of hard work. The auditorium rang with applause after the vote was final.

Voters allocated about $852K for the purchase. The Board of Selectmen and Advisory Committee presented a compromise plan on how to come up with the funds. The town will borrow $350K and pull nearly $400K from the stabilization fund, which is the town’s rainy-day fund. Another $104K will come from a 2001 town meeting article that still had money left over.

With the $90K raised in private donations, primarily from last winter’s Fire Ball, plus the $320K pledged over the next 10 years by Fay School, St. Mark’s, and the New England Center for Children, the purchase will result in only a small increase to our property taxes.

Selectman Bill Boland said the average family can expect to pay an additional $30 over the next 15 years.

After listening to a presentation by Ladder Truck Committee member John Tommaney and hearing about the funding plan from Boland, Town Meeting was ready to vote. With no further discussion, voters overwhelmingly passed the article. I saw only one or two hands raised in opposition.

At the conclusion of town meeting, committee member Jim Colleary thanked the committee for their hard work and recognized members of the Fire Ball committee for their successful fundraising efforts.

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14 years ago

Do you know how long it will take for them to put the order in and for the truck to get here? And same with the ford explorer.

14 years ago

The Ladder Truck Committee had already drawn up specifications for a ladder trauck, at the suggestion of the Selectmen. It will probably need a bit of fine tuning, then needs to follow the bid process, or more likely, a Request for Proposal. After all of that, which takes up to a couple of months, the bid is awarded and they start manufacturing, which will take about a year. The Police SUV is a similar process, although the state maintains a “Bid List” of professional public safety vehicle dealers, and without a lengthy process, can be “bought off the lot”. The Chief would then need to have it lettered and outfitted according to the department’s needs. Both methods are regulated by the Commonwealth.

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