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Fire department asks for voter support

PERRY TOWNSHIP – Firefighters and trustees will ask Perry Township voters next week to help fund a fire truck replacement program.

Monday, October 30, 2000

PERRY TOWNSHIP – Firefighters and trustees will ask Perry Township voters next week to help fund a fire truck replacement program.

Trustees have sponsored an additional 1-mill fire levy on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The extra millage will form the beginnings of the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department’s plan to replace its fleet with modern equipment that’s much more reliable, fire chief Dewey Derifield said.

"What we’re trying to do is protect the community and keep the insurance rating low," Derifield said.

The department’s current 1-mill operating levy produces barely enough tax revenue to maintain equipment and gasoline, he said.

And, its four pumper trucks, one tanker and a mini-pumper are getting old, he added.

So, firefighters are asking residents to support another levy that, with the help of trustee funding, will purchase two new trucks, Derifield said.

The new trucks will replace the department’s oldest trucks, which have served the township for 30 years or more, and mean more reliability when its time to respond to the fire calls, Derifield said.

"It’s not something where we want something flashy and new," he said. "Trucks don’t last forever and we’re at the point well, we don’t want to be in a position where the breaks go out while going to a fire."

Replacing trucks also will save money – less will be spent on maintenance and expensive repairs that the township must now absorb for the older trucks, Derifield said.

The chief, volunteers and others have been campaigning by word of mouth since trustees sponsored the levy issue.

They have been met with public support, and no real opposition, he said.

Perry firefighters will have the most contact with the voting public this weekend at the Dawson-Bryant Elementary Fall Carnival at Deering.

Derifield said residents can ask questions. And, firefighters will give answers.

They want to explain that the township is much better off with new trucks that hold 1,500 gallons of water, rather than the 1,000 gallons they hold now, he said.

That’s important because the Perry area has no fire hydrants, Derifield said.

And, the new trucks will become a new line of defense in what is becoming a growth area, he said.

A doublewide mobile home park in Sheridan is just one of the many places the department’s all-volunteer crew, who work without compensation, will protect in the future, he said.