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Arkansas side to get three new fire trucks

Arkansas side to get three new fire trucks

Board OKs creation of a bulk-item pickup service

April 17th, 2018 by Karl Richter in Texarkana News

The Texarkana, Ark., Board of Directors gave the green light to buying three new fire trucks at its meeting Monday.

The board approved purchase of a new ladder truck and two pumper trucks for a total of $1.5 million, to be paid for with a bond issue passed previously.

The city will buy a 107-foot ladder truck for $890,710 and two pumper trucks for $304,645 each from Appleton, Wisc.-based Pierce Manufacturing.

The trucks will replace older equipment that Texarkana, Ark., Fire Department will either sell as surplus or hold in reserve.

The new ladder truck will go to TAFD Station 1 at 416 E. Third St., and the pumpers will go to Station 3 at 2801 East St. and Station 5 at 2901 Trinity Blvd.

TAFD Chief David Fletcher told the board a department committee had met extensively with the three largest fire truck makers before deciding to buy from Pierce. Price estimates from the three were roughly equal, he said.

Pierce custom manufactures its trucks on demand, and the company will have up to a year to deliver the city's new three. Fletcher is hopeful they will be here in six to eight months, he said.

The board also fast-tracked and approved by a vote of 6-1 creation of a bulk item pickup service the city will provide for a fee.

The plan is a version of a defunct free service called Dial-a-Truck. Dial-a-Truck picked up residents' bulk waste—such as discarded furniture—on demand until the program ended in 2012 because it was too expensive.

Ward 2 Director Laney Harris cast the only vote against the measure, saying he has heard from constituents that the city is charging too many fees.

Ward 3 Director Tim Johnson said residents want the service and will be willing to pay for it.

"It is a need within our city. We're operating on a tight budget here, and that's the reason for having to have a charge for this, a fee for it, but I feel that everyone would be able to understand that that's better than nothing," Johnson said.

Residences will pay $30 per cubic yard for removal of up to 8 cubic yards of material, maximum $110, with an additional flat charge of $110 for each additional trip to remove all items.

Commercial and rental properties including apartments will pay $120 for a small load, up to 8 cubic yards, plus $120 per additional trip; and $360 for a large load, up to 64 cubic yards, plus $360 per additional trip.

The service will be available in about 60 days, Assistant Public Works Director Tracie Lee said.

On Twitter: @RealKarlRichter

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