New engine, station roof among upgrades approved at Fire District meeting
Voters at the Wareham Fire District’s annual meeting on Monday, April 10 unanimously approved a host of equipment upgrades and infrastructure repairs.
Voters approved $1.2 million for a new fire engine to replace the current Engine 5, which has 144,568 miles on it and is rotting away due to rust. The new engine will be made of stainless steel.
Four hundred thousand dollars will go to replacing 1,000 feet of 88-year-old 10-inch water pipes beneath Cranberry Highway, from Old Glen Charlie Road to Ames Island Road. The new pipes will be 12 inches in diameter. This will be done at the same time as the reconstruction of Mill Pond Dam on Cranberry Highway over the Agawam River, which the Department of Transportation is currently proposing.
Voters also approved using $200,000 of rainy day funds to replace the leaky roof of the Main Street fire station, the purchase of an $82,000 pickup truck with a snow plow and $158,000 for new radio equipment.
The Main Street fire station will also be getting a new $38,000 alarm system. Firefighters themselves will get $22,000 in new thermal cameras, which can locate injured firefighters and occupants of a building when visibility is reduced by smoke and fire; $35,000 in computers, tablets and other equipment running on up-to-date software; $15,000 in new uniforms and $30,000 for repairing and replacing old dive gear and dry suits.
Only one piece of new equipment was rejected by voters — $45,000 to install CCTV systems in all Fire Department buildings. Instead of a voice vote, voters opted for a secret ballot, where the security camera proposal failed 27-44.
Finally, voters approved an $8,144,952.14 budget for the Fire District, a $328,000 increase from last year’s. The $5,862,709 Water Department budget, also approved, is a $113,000 increase from last year.
The Fire District election will be held on Saturday, April 15. Incumbents Richard England and John English are running unopposed for three-year terms on the Prudential Committee and Board of Water Commissioners, respectively.
Polls will be open at Fire District headquarters, 2550 Cranberry Highway, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.