The Burns Harbor
Town Council is mulling what to do with the Town’s 1996 fire engine now that
the new BHFD engine from E-One is nearing completion.
Fire Chief Bill
Arney said at Monday’s Town Council meeting that he completed a final
inspection on the new engine and will officially take ownership of it
Wednesday, after which a company in St. John will begin outfitting it with
The new engine has
a 7,500 gallon capacity, and replaces the Town’s 1996 model that presented
with insurmountable repair costs in recent years. Council member Ray Poparad
noted the old engine would need over $200,000 in repairs, including a new
pump, parts for which are no longer made.
said he has received interest in the engine from the San Pierre Fire
Department, a small volunteer operation in need of a new fire truck.
Arney said the San
Pierre FD sent him a letter of interest, which he will forward to the
Council members. They’re hoping for a donation.
Arney said his
research suggests the engine would fetch as little as $5,000 for scrap or to
a collector, though similar engines in better condition have sold for up to
Poparad said he
knows small, volunteer-run departments always struggle, but was unsure about
such a large donation. “In the past we’ve donated equipment to other
departments, but never a truck. We’ve donated old bunker gear, fire hoses,”
Town Attorney Clay
Patton suggested the Town should try to get something for the engine,
perhaps ask the San Pierre FD to make an offer on it. The Council didn’t
take any further action Monday.
In other Fire
Department business, Arney reported construction on the new Fire Department
building is almost complete, and the next Town Council meeting, as well as a
ribbon cutting for the new engine, will be held there on April 10.
Arney also received
the go-ahead from the Council and the Redevelopment Commission to begin the
hiring process for EMTs to cover night and weekend shifts manning the Town’s
ambulance. Arney reported he has taken applications and done interviews, and
he hopes to have new EMTs start as early as March 25.
Superintendent Pat Melton reported that spring clean-up is April 22. In the
meantime, the Street Department has started roadside trash pick-up and
yearly maintenance on mowers and other equipment. Organized brush pick-up
begins in May and runs on the first and third Mondays of each month.
Saturday, April 13
is the Park Department Easter Egg Hunt at Lakeland Park. The Spectacular
Hunt for kids with vision or mobility impairments, special sensory needs,
and the like, begins at 10 a.m. The regular Egg Hunt follows at 10:30 a.m.
Kids up to 12 are welcome at both events.
Good of the Order
Poparad noted that
the bridge on Old Porter Road over Salt Creek is closed because the
southwest corner support for the bridge deck has crumbled. Poparad said he
checked with the County, and the bridge, which sees between 2,900 and 3,100
cars a day, is at the top of the list for replacement. Poparad noted,
however, that top of the list still means it will be out until October or
November as the County goes through the bidding process.
Council member Toni
Biancardi suggested the Council begin tracking and approving all vendors the
Town uses. Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan was on board, saying it’s a good
internal controls practice. The Council voted to begin an audit of current
vendors, which will involve every department producing a spreadsheet of what
vendors they use and for what purposes.
unanimously passed a resolution to adopt a Title VI non-discrimination
policy and implementation plan. Biancardi said such a policy guiding Town
employees’ behavior must be in place for the Town to be eligible for certain
Nick Loving reported the farmer who has been planting on the
recently-acquired 28-acre parcel adjoining the Food Truck Square site has
expressed interest in leasing the land for another year. The Council has no
objections since there are no plans to begin developing the parcel this
growing season. The Council directed Patton to contact the farmer and
finalize a contract.
announced that he sent a letter to the County Clerk saying Burns Harbor has
no need to hold a primary election because there are not more than five
candidates for either party running for Town Council. There will still be a
polling location in Town due to the Duneland School Referendum question,