New ladder truck set to arrive in Boardman
By Ashley Luthern
A new ladder truck for the fire department should arrive by the middle of next month, the fire chief says. Fire Chief George Brown said the Quint Fire Truck with a 100-foot ladder — 10 feet longer than the 21-year-old ladder truck being replaced — originally was going to be a demonstration truck for the truck company but was able to be adapted to Boardman’s specifications.
Trustees approved purchasing the truck last week at a cost of $917,750, and township Administrator Jason Loree said the fiscal office still is determining if the township will buy the truck outright or work out a financing agreement.
“With our estate taxes, we could buy it outright,” Loree said.
The township has received $1.9 million in estate taxes, more than double the usual $600,000 to $700,000 it receives, Loree said. The estate tax, however, no longer will be collected beginning next year because of changes to state law.
Brown said the truck’s purchase was part of the township’s 2016 plan.
“It was an opportunity the board saw, and we’re grateful that they took it,” Brown said.
Brown and Loree said the township’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) public protection class rating was a key factor in the decision to get a new ladder truck.
Local communities receive an ISO classification from 2 — the best — to 10, the worst, and the ISO classification is used by insurance companies to determine what to charge residences and commercial structures. Boardman currently has a 5 classification.
The township got an opinion from Cailor Fleming Insurance and in a letter, Trent H. Cailor, the company’s vice president, said if the township did not replace the ladder truck, the ISO rating would increase to 6 or 7, which would lead to higher insurance premiums for residents and business owners.
“The net effect of the increased insurance premiums would be a lot larger than the cost of the ladder truck,” Loree said.
The new ladder truck will be housed in the South Avenue fire station. It cannot fit in the main fire station on U.S. Route 224, which was built in 1923 and added on to in the 1950s, Brown said.
The South Avenue station is the newest of the township’s three fire stations and was built in 2004.