Ridgefield is looking to move up the time frame for ordering two new fire trucks, and to enter into an agreement with the City of Danbury to maintain the apparatus. A Special Town Meeting will be held tonight about bonding nearly $1.8 million for two trucks, which were already scheduled to be replaced in the 2024 and 2025 capital years.
When it comes to need, First Selectman Rudy Marconi gave the example that Engine 1 responded to a fire call, pulled into an access lane and it died. The brakes locked up and it couldn't be moved, blocking the driveway. Marconi says that puts doubt into the men and women who drive those trucks and are responding to fires. Engine 1 recently got a new motor that cost $65,000.
Pierce fire trucks have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years while there's have an expected life of 10 years. The trucks would be repaired at Danbury's Kenosia Avenue station near the airport.
The City would bill Ridgefield for the parts, and the town wouldn't have to hire a mechanic because Danbury has certified technicians. Ridgefield's former mechanic retired. The agreement would be for the cost of Danbury hiring another mechanic, which is estimated at $100,000 to $120,000 a year. Marconi says they will be applying for grant money through the Regional Performance Incentive Program, which for the 1st year would cover 75%, 50% in the 2nd year and 25% in the 3rd year.