The Town of Bashaw will look into a request for a fire truck that specializes in off-road emergencies after hearing a report at their Feb. 21 regular meeting of council.

Councillors read a report from Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller noting that Bashaw firefighting sources believed an off-road vehicle, described at the meeting as a wildland or field truck, could be of use, especially as the summer of 2024 is expected to be dry. 

“Twenty twenty four is starting out as a drought-concerning year,” stated Fuller’s memo. “In preparation for possible fires the chief had requested consideration for purchasing a crew-cab truck.

“It would be a one ton crew-cab, they are obtaining pricing. It would have a water tank on the back and be maneuverable through pastures etc.

“Storing the unit may be a challenge. The fire department does not have room to fit the unit. Public Works Foreman (Patrick) Taylor thought he may be able to find space in the Public Works shop.”

The problem of storage space dominated the discussion; Mayor Rob McDonald stated he would like to have an off-road firefighting vehicle but only if a safe place to park it could be found.

During discussion it was noted the vehicle wouldn’t need to be a brand new pick-up, and the possibility of business or corporate donations was also mentioned. 

One suggestion was made that on-call fire department members could keep the truck at their homes until a safe spot was found for it.

Mayor McDonald stated he did a little research on one ton pick-ups and it seemed there were lots of suitable second-hand ones available, so locating a vehicle wasn’t an emergency.

Coun. Kyle McIntosh stated Taylor needed to decide whether Public Works had room for the truck. The report was accepted as information.

No dice on repair bill

Councillors read a response from the Bashaw Curling Club noting the organization declined to pay a portion of unexpectedly high repairs to a curling club property.

“In response to your letter dated Jan. 18, 2024, we wish to confirm…the board voted not to pay the remainder of the shed repairs,” stated a Feb. 4 letter from the Bashaw Curling Club.

At a previous council meeting the CAO reported the Town of Bashaw paid for repairs to a curling club storage shed which is located on town-owned property. While the town obtained a grant to pay for repairs, the repair bill itself came to $2,500 more than the grant; hence, councillors elected to ask the curling club to pay that amount.

Fire department donation

Councillors unanimously agreed to move $5,000 in donations to the Bashaw Fire Department from an operating account into the restricted for operating fire reserve account.

In her report the CAO said the donations came from Ember Resources ($3,000) and the thrift store ($2,000) in 2023.

Coun. McIntosh stated he felt the donations were very generous.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Feb 28, 2024 at 08:58

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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