Albee Twp. fire department needs new truck - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Albee Twp. fire department needs new truck, hoping to pass assessment this election

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(10/10/12) - If Albee Township residents agree to pay $60 per year, it'll buy their fire department a brand new truck.

It's something those Saginaw County voters will see on their election ballot this year, and the fire chief says it's critical for public safety.

In past elections, voters shot down this assessment twice.

But the chief says when you look at it, $60 a year per household, or $5 dollars a week, is nothing when lives are on the line.

"We've had that bugger for so many years, way back in the '80s I believe, '82-83, yeah, she's on her way out," said Don Losee, Albee Township's assistant fire chief.

"The other day when we were training, it failed on us," said Thomas Gerding, Albee Township's fire chief. "Both batteries shorted right out, bad starter on it, and some wires burned up," he said.

They say that's pretty typical for the 30-year-old truck.

That's why Wednesday night they took to their phones and tried to drum up support for a $60 special assessment.

"The truck we got now, you can't rely onto it, it's a very dangerous truck, I'm afraid someone's going to get hurt one of these days," Losee said.

Now this is an assessment, not a millage. Everyone would pay $60 for seven years, regardless of their property size.

We talked to a few residents. Some say they want to make sure their fire department has the proper tools while others wonder if it's too much money to ask for.

"If there were fire fighters in that structure when it failed, it could be catastrophic," Gerding said.

While their fire truck is broken, they'll have to rely on neighboring townships' trucks, and that means longer response times.

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