The Medford Community Development Authority Board gave a financial boost to the purchase of a ladder truck for the Medford Area Fire Department. The board met Tuesday. City Coordinator John Fales told the group that when the tax district on Medford’s north side was formed, the plan included up to $400,000 to pay toward the purchase of a new ladder fire truck.
The Medford Fire Commission has directed the department members to search out a used ladder truck for a budget cost of up to $500,000. When asked about financing of a fire truck, Fales indicated that the department hasn’t taken out a loan for a fire truck in 15 to 18 years. At the fire commission’s last meeting in 2012 they voted to deny purchasing a truck which had been recommended by the department’s truck committee for just under $500,000. The commission then directed the truck committee to continue their search and bring back 3 options.
Fales said that the truck committee has had difficulty finding a ladder truck of the caliber and price range of the previous model.
Mayor Mike Wellner, who is a member of the board, expressed concern for the safety of firefighters and property owners with the current ladder truck now at 33 years old. Wellner indicated that at the recent Main Street fire there had been some safety and performance issues with the 1980 ladder truck.
To show their support, the Community Development Authority Board voted unanimously to commit 30% of the purchase price; up to $200,000 toward the purchase of the Medford Area Fire Department’s next ladder truck.
The Medford Area Joint Fire Commission is scheduled to meet on March 13th to address the issue of a replacement ladder truck purchase.