New Ipswich

Select Board approves fire vehicle purchase

  • The New Ipswich Select Board authorizes the purchase of a used Chevy Taho for the Fire Department during its Tuesday meeting.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • The New Ipswich Select Board authorizes the purchase of a used Chevy Taho for the Fire Department during its Tuesday meeting.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • The New Ipswich Select Board authorizes the purchase of a used Chevy Taho for the Fire Department during its Tuesday meeting.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • The New Ipswich Select Board authorizes the purchase of a used Chevy Taho for the Fire Department during its Tuesday meeting.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

NEW IPSWICH — The New Ipswich Fire Department will be trading in its Ford Explorer for a newer, less damaged used Chevy Tahoe.

At a Select Board meeting Tuesday, Fire Chief David Leel told the board that he had found the Tahoe at the White Farm State Surplus in Concord. In two weeks, White Farm will be closing its vehicle yard in anticipation of its fall auction, Leel said. Now is likely the last chance the town will have to purchase the vehicle before that happens, he said.

“Really good vehicles are few and far between [at White Farm State Surplus],” said Leel. “I have no doubt this vehicle won’t survive the auction.”

The vehicle is a 2006 Chevy Tahoe SUV. Despite being several years newer than the Explorer it will be replacing, it has about 20,000 more miles on it, said Leel. It is in considerably better shape, though, he added. The Fire Department’s current vehicle, a Ford Explorer which previously belonged to the Police Department, has body rust. The damage to the Explorer makes it likely that it will not pass inspection in March, said Leel. Estimates for body work on the vehicle range from $1,500 to $2,000. The vehicle is also experiencing some electrical problems, he noted.

Instead of repairing the Explorer, the Fire Department would like to replace it with the Tahoe for $4,000, said Leel. Leel added that the equipment and radios would all transfer from the Explorer to the Tahoe, which would be used by the department to get to and from trainings.

Select Board member Mike Conlin asked is the Fire Department had sufficient funds to pay for the Tahoe. Leel replied that he could take some leftover from the maintenance, training and salaries budgets to pay for the vehicle.

“I can make it work,” he said.

Select Board Chair George Lawrence asked if fuel costs would go up with the change in vehicle. Leel said the two vehicles had comparable gas mileage.

Selectman Ben Cargill said that because the Fire Department could support the purchase with its current budget, and because it would replace one vehicle with another, he would be in favor of purchasing the Tahoe. The Explorer will be put out to bid after the Tahoe has been purchased. Money from the sale of the Explorer will go into the town’s general fund, and not toward the purchase of the Tahoe.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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