Preston gets just one bid for new firetruck

Preston - The town received only one bid in its quest to buy a new combination pumper and rescue firetruck and will review the proposal to see whether it meets the new goal of responding to some emergency calls with a single truck.

The Board of Selectmen opened the $449,989 bid from New England Fire Equipment & Apparatus of Hartford at Thursday's meeting. Members voted to turn over the proposal to a committee of firefighters, which had prepared the bid package, for evaluation. They will report back to selectmen Dec. 19.

If the truck won't meet the town's needs, First Selectman Robert Congdon said, the town could go out to bid a second time.

Voters approved spending $450,000 for the firetruck as part of the five-year capital plan last May.

Fire Chief Tom Casey said the truck at first would replace a 20-year-old pumper truck at the Preston City fire station. The new vehicle also would allow the town to combine pumper and rescue services on one truck. The pumper is "on its last legs," Casey told selectmen, while the rescue truck is still good.

The new truck would be larger to accommodate both the water tank and rescue equipment, but one condition of the bid package was that the truck must fit into the current Preston City station.

Casey and selectmen were surprised and disappointed that the town received only one bid. The package was sent to seven manufacturers.


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