Wilton Heritage Commission will discuss muster truck with Select Board

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/28/2022 1:20:28 PM
Modified: 11/28/2022 1:18:04 PM

The Wilton Heritage Commission is scheduled to meet with the Select Board next week, to discuss the potential sale of a historic fire department muster truck.

In early November, the board voted to put the truck out to bid. The truck is not part of the department’s current fleet and is currently nonfunctional and stored in a barn on a resident’s property.

The board agreed to sell the 1936 fire department truck, and was initially scheduled to open potential bids on Nov. 21. However, that date was extended after residents protested that the town had not given the town’s historical committees the chance to weigh in.

According to Select Board minutes, when discussing the muster truck back in 2018, the board stated it would consult the town’s Heritage Commission before ever selling it, but Heritage Commission members said that didn’t happen before the decision to put the truck on the market.

Heritage Commission co-Chair Felice Fullam noted that it’s likely the board meant to say it would consult the town’s Historical Society, which maintains certain town history and artifacts, rather than the Heritage Commission, which usually concerns itself with historical sites and buildings. However, neither committee was approached to weigh in on the truck before it was put out to bid, she said.

According to Select Board minutes, during the meeting on Nov. 7, Fire Chief Don Nourse approached the board, informing them he had been contacted by a retired fire chief who was interested in purchasing the truck, and made an initial offer on it. Nourse told the board at the time there was no interest from any members of the department in restoring the truck.

The board decided, instead of accepting the offer, to put the vehicle out for bid. The truck isn’t believed to have significant value.

Heritage Commission Secretary Donna Crane said the commission doesn’t have the resources to restore or properly store the truck, but said there should be more of an effort to keep the historical piece in Wilton. She said extending the bid process was a good start to give possible interested parties in town the chance to learn about the opportunity and submit a bid.

Crane said the agenda for the board meeting where the decision was made to sell the truck only noted “muster truck” as a topic.

“It was not indicated that it was being considered to be sold,” she said.

The Select Board is scheduled to discuss the muster truck during its upcoming meeting on Dec. 5. Heritage Commission representatives are expected to join the meeting to state their stance on the subject.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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