The Sussex Borough Fire Department’s equipment is aging, and at the September 6 Borough Council meeting, the department asked for help in replacing one of its engines.
According to Fire Chief Sam Rome, one of the department’s engines needs about $50,000 worth of repairs at it sits in the bay. The engine is about 20 years old.
“We think it’s foolish to spend $50,000 on a piece of equipment that isn’t worth $50,000,” department treasurer Floyd Southard said.
In the past year, the department has spent $22,000 just to service equipment and a recent National Fire Protection Association inspection showed something wrong with each of the department’s apparatuses. The department spent $4,000 to replace tires on a brush truck and $15,000 on a tanker, between tires and repairs.
Everything has been paid for through fundraised money or the stipend given to the department by the borough.
“We’re not looking for anything for that,” Southard said. “We just wanted you to understand what we’re going through with these repairs. It’s stuff we have to do.”
Rome said the department is trying to find a new truck for under $500,000.
“A lot of times they’ll give you payment options where if you pay at least a quarter up front and then you pay so much when it’s maybe halfway built,” Rome said.
Councilman Frank Dykstra, who was involved with the recent purchase of a ladder truck, said he wanted to meet with the department’s leadership to answer some additional questions he had.