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By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — When it was all said and done, updates and repairs to a tender used by the Boyceville fire department cost $3,500 more than anticipated for a total cost of $28,446.
Cory Green, Boyceville fire chief, reported at the Boyceville Community Fire District Board’s June 16 meeting that he was going to pick up the tender the next day.
As it turned out, only half of the light bar worked, so Green said he told the repair shop to replace the light bar. All of the water valves were replaced as well, and a water level indicator was added.
The water level indicator will be useful during the winter so that when the truck is being filled, it will not run over and cause an icy spot, he said.
“There’s a lot of value in that truck,” Green said, estimating that with the updates, the vehicle is worth $175,000.
“We will have that truck in service for a long time yet,” he said.
Later on in the meeting, the fire board transferred $25,000 from the building and equipment fund to the general fund to pay for the updates to the tender.
The fire board unanimously approved the motion to transfer the money.
The Towns of Hay River, Hew Haven, Sherman, Stanton and Tiffany along with the Villages of Boyceville and Wheeler are included in the Boyceville fire district.
The Village of Wheeler was absent from the meeting.
According to information handed out to fire board members, as of the June 16 meeting, the fire district had $112,169.20 in the general fund and $71,153.69 in the building fund.
The Thrivent account contained $12,157.22.
Green reported that the dry hydrant had been installed and tested on the bridge by the Tiffany Town Hall.
If there are other locations where fire board members would like to see the hydrant tested, Green said the fire department would be happy to set up the dry hydrant.
A video of the dry hydrant at work has been posted to the Boyceville Firefighters Association Facebook page, he said.
“We wanted to try it out to see if it worked. It worked really good,” he said.
One of the fire board members asked if the dry hydrant was difficult or time consuming to set up, and Green said he was surprised at how quickly the piece of equipment could be put into operation.
Picklefest will be moving forward this year, Green said, noting that the event had not been held last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also because of the pandemic, he said, the fire department had never held an open house for the new Boyceville fire station.
An open house will be held at the fire station on Saturday, August 21, Green said.
Also on Saturday, August 21, at 3 p.m., Boyceville firefighters will be playing a softball game against the Glenwood City firefighters. The game will be played at Pafko Park in Boyceville, he said.
A suggestion to have the townships take turns plowing the parking lot at the Boyceville fire station instead of hiring someone to plow snow has been set aside.
Having the towns take turns with their patrolmen bringing the town trucks to plow snow sounds like a good idea “until you really look at it,” said Chuck Siler, chair of the fire board and chair of the Town of Tiffany.
Siler said he has served eight terms as town chair, and during that time, there have been three snowstorms that took two days to get the town roads plowed out.
If it is only a four-inch snowstorm — that is not a problem, Siler said.
The Town of Tiffany has 35 miles of road. Considering the cost of the plow truck, fuel, materials and the patrolman’s time, every instance when the plow truck is sent out costs the township $900, he said.
Last year, the cost was $2,200 to plow out the fire department’s parking lot, and divided up by the assessments in the townships, the cost is less than the $900 it would cost to send the plow truck and the patrolman, Siler said.
In addition, the patrolmen also will not clean the sidewalks, noted Russell Hitz, chair of the Town of Hay River.
There will be years when the cost of plowing snow at the fire station is double the cost of last year, but if there is more snow, it will cost the townships more, too, to bring the snowplow into town, Green said.
During previous discussions of the snowplowing issue, the town chairs on the fire board pointed out that plowing out their roads for their town residents would be a priority, and depending on how big the snowfall, it could be a while before their patrolmen could get to the fire station.
When the new fire station was built, the idea was to hire a contractor who would make the fire station a priority for snowplowing, Green said.
The Boyceville fire board unanimously approved a motion authorizing Green to continue handling the arrangements for snowplowing at the fire station.
The Boyceville Community Fire District Board meets next on July 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the fire station.