Fire Department requests equipment funds from Selectboard

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Rockingham Selectboard meeting, the Rockingham Fire Department requested equipment funds to replace 10 tanks expiring this summer.

Kevin Kingsbury of the Rockingham Fire Department said that many of the bottles had already expired and the rest would expire in June. He requested just over $6,000 for 10 new bottles from the equipment fund and suggested buying them from Dalmation Fire Equipment. He explained that he chose Dalmation because of cost, and both Saxtons River and Westminster Fire Departments had purchased from them in the past.

The equipment fund had $11,000, and Gaetano Putignano said, “I don’t think we should drain the fund.” He also said he thought the Fire Committee should be involved with the decision.

Finance Director Shannon Burbela understood that currently the Bellows Falls Fire Department had 40 tanks. Municipal Manager Wendy Harrison agreed they could loan the 10 that RFD needed. Burbela explained shifting tanks around between departments would give them varying expiration dates.

Village Trustee President Deborah Wright wondered why the three fire departments did not work together to schedule bulk purchases. Putignano agreed the Fire Equipment Committee was formed to organize the Saxtons River, Bellows Falls, and Rockingham Fire Departments, and their goal was to work on a purchasing schedule to offset expiration dates.

Susan Hammond asked how long it would take to acquire the new tanks. Since it only takes about two weeks, she suggested waiting on the purchase. Putignano wanted to wait for the Fire Committee, and Harrison said the committee meets in March.

Stefan Golec reminded residents about the annual meeting scheduled for Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in the Bellows Falls Opera House. He encouraged participation, “as much as we can get,” at this year’s Town Meeting.

On Tuesday, March 3, residents vote at the Masonic Temple between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., and the next Selectboard meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Harrison mentioned if anyone needs transportation to contact the town for assistance. Hammond reminded voters that absentee ballots were also available.

Officials urged residents to review the Town Report prior to the meeting as there are a number of articles to vote upon. Find a copy at the Rockingham Library, Public Safety building, Lisai’s Market, People’s Bank, the Rockingham Medical Center, and Town Offices.

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