Custer County Chief
Newest fire truck comes to Bow
BROKEN BOW Broken Bow has a new firetruck.
At the April 13 meeting, council members voted to spend $159,900 to purchase a 1999 Pierce Dash fire truck with a 100 foot arm. The 22-year-old vehicle has 17,821 miles on it and has a 2,000 gallons per minute (GPM) pump.
The newer truck will replace city’s 1977 ladder truck which has a 75 foot arm and a 1,250 GPM pump. The newer truck also has a platform at the end of the arm as well as an air delivery system to deliver fresh air to the platform.
Broken Bow Fire Chief Jason Baum said it is the goal of the department to reach 3,500 GMP with two trucks. The two pumper trucks will remain in service. Equipment from the 1977 truck will be moved to the 1999 truck and the truck will most likely be sold.
City Administrator Dan Knoell said the truck would be purchased using funds collected through sales tax. According to Knoell, of the City’s 1.5 percent tax, 0.5 percent is collected for city operations. “We consider the fire truck part of operations,” he said and stated there is currently more than $800,000 in the fund reserved for operations.
Both Baum and Knoell said they have reviewed the maintenance records of the new truck and are confident that it has been well maintained. The Pennsylvania fire department that sold the truck only did so because they have a truck rotation program.
It was noted that the price of a similar truck purchased brand new would be approximately $1.2 million dollars.
Three members of the fire department flew to Philadelphia to retrieve the truck and drove it to Broken Bow at a cost far less than the $13,000 quoted to have the truck transported to Nebraska.
The only additional cost, other than normal maintenance, will be the cost of re-lettering for it to reflect the Broken Bow Volunteer Fire Department.
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen asked Baum and Knoell to address the need for a 100 foot ladder and platform. Baum said there are several buildings that are two stories or higher and “It would help to have an elevated water supply.”
Baum also stated that, as a volunteer department, members are not used to climbing a ladder daily. “This is a lot safer,” Baum said of the platform ladder.
City council member David Schmidt said he recognizes that the price is “not a small amount,” yet added, “If we pass, it will cost us more in the long run.”
Sonnichsen added, “We are really fortunate to have rural and city fire at the same place with all the people trained.”
The newest truck will be owned by the city. The rural department and city co-own the pump trucks.
BROKEN BOW - Broken Bow Public Library Director Megan Svoboda and the staff of the Broken Bow Public Library was congratulated by the City Council at their April 13 meeting for receiving the 2021 Non-Profit/Organization of the Year award from the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce.
Electric Superintendent Blake Waldow was recognized and congratulated by the council for receiving his Journeyman Electrician Certification. According to City Administrator Dan Knoell, Waldow is officially the first certified journeyman for the city.
The Broken Bow Area Rotary presented a plaque of appreciation to the city for assistance received in distributing food boxes March 26 and April 6. “We (the Rotary) were able to bring COVID relief here with the USDA on very short notice,” Rotarian Veronica Schmidt said. “It could not have happened without the commitment of the city.”
Administrator Dan Knoell presented the idea of textmy.gov, a message system that can send information and alerts via email and text. It could be used to keep citizens informed of power shut offs, water problems, special events and emergencies. The cost to the city would be $2,300.
The Broken Bow City Council approved Handi-Bus operating assistance for years 2020-21 and 2021-2022 at the April 13 meeting. The Handi-Bus provides public transportation in and around Broken Bow surrounding communities.
The council voted unanimously for the purchase of the new firetruck (see page A1).
Present for the meeting were council members Larry Miller, David Schmidt and Jason Holcomb as well as Mayor Sonnichsen, Administrator Knoell, City Attorney Jason White, City Clerk Kandi Peters and Deputy City Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Owen. Absent was council member Chris Myers.
The next city council meeting is April 27 at 6 p.m.