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New ladder truck coming along for Sanibel fire district
May 16, 2018

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With the Sanibel Fire and Rescue District's new ladder truck currently undergoing its equipment installation, the district has two offers on the table from departments interested in the old one.

At the May 9 commission meeting, Fire Chief Matt Scott explained that the replacement truck is starting to have the apparatus and accessories added to it in the process of being completed.

"The new ladder truck is on the line," he said.

A final inspection for the vehicle is expected in August.

Scott noted that the truck could be in service by September.

An update was also provided on the E1 ladder truck that the new one will replace.

Scott explained that he found companies to list the sale with, with one that provided the service on consignment. He provided them with the information on the truck and it was listed for $75,000.

"That's what they thought we could get out of it," he said.

Since the listing went up, Scott has been contacted by a few agencies.

"I have two departments who are interested," he said.

One agency in Montreal will not have an answer until May 17. Scott explained that the second department is offering a cash payment upfront of $61,5000 - not the listed asking price.

"So right now, we're in a holding pattern," he said.

Scott noted that the listing company will receive 10 percent when it is sold.

He recommended that the district wait on the second offer before making a decision.

The commissioners voiced support for getting the highest payment possible.

Scott also gave an update on a brush truck the district acquired through a loaner program.

Federal Excess Personal Property and Firefighter Property, or FEPP/FFP, is equipment on loan to state foresters from the federal government for use in rural and wildland fire protection programs. Most of the items are from military installations, with trucks suitable for conversion to tankers or brush trucks.

Fire departments desiring equipment can contact the Florida Forest Service to make a request.

Scott said the district is converting the military vehicle into a high water brush truck.

"The truck has been painted," he said, explaining that the front end is being attached at the Bayshore Fire Protection and Rescue Service District in Fort Myers.

The truck is expected to be in service in June.

Scott explained that the conditions of the program include turning over the vehicle if the federal government needs it - which never happens - and providing mutual aid for wildland fires.

Also at the meeting, Sanibel Fire Marshal Rick Tassoni pointed out a fire access issue.

He reported that there is no access road to the Breakers West Condominium. It had been using the Waterside Inn on the Beach's access road, until the Waterside Inn no longer allowed it access.

"We can't access it correctly," Tassoni said of Breakers West.

He noted that the law requires fire access.

According to Tassoni, Breakers West sued Waterside Inn over the refusal for access, but it ended up losing the lawsuit. He said Waterside Inn is now suing Breakers West for $100,000 over the suit.

Tassoni said Breakers West must modify or add an access road to be in compliance.

"The city has to approve all that," he said.

The Sanibel Public Library may not fully reopen in the fall as expected.

"It's going to be postponed," Tassoni said of it. "There's major issues they're running into."

During public comment, one man asked which seats were coming up for election.

The commissioners serve four-year terms, with Seat 1 and 2 on the same cycle and Seat 3 following two years later. Seats 1 and 2 are expected to be on the list for the upcoming November election.

Commissioner Mike Lawrence holds Seat 1 and Commissioner Bruce Cochrane holds Seat 2.

Seat 3, held by Commissioner Jerry Muench, will be up for election in 2020.

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