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CC to buy fire truck, sell one

CC to buy fire truck, sell one

City Council adds foam defense system to aerial truck order

Charles City’s new aerial fire truck will be prepared to take on both wood-based and chemical-based fires with an added foam system, the City Council decided Wednesday night. In a special meeting before the weekly workshop, the council approved adding a dual-class foam system to the purchase agreement with supplier Sutphen. “There’s two classes that we’re concerned about: Class A is for wooden structures, and Class B is chemical fires.

Both are very important to us in Charles City,” City Administrator Steve Diers said.

The cost for the dual-class system comes to $16,209.27, bringing the total truck purchase cost to $745,209.27.

Sutphen declined a trade-in with Charles City’s current aerial fire truck. The truck will be advertised separately, available either as a used community fire truck or for parts. It could be sold for around $10,000 to $15,000, Diers said.

“(Sutphen) has enough on hand of our vintage that they didn’t need it for parts. We’ll have better luck advertising it locally and selling it,” Diers said.

The wait to take possession of the truck will be longer, which should come to around February or March. That may work out in the city’s favor, Diers said.

“Usually when you buy a fire truck, it takes a year to get them. We only have a spot for one, so we’ve got to sell this other one and get it out the door before the new one comes in,” Diers said.


Charles City should begin a water meter change out just five years after replacing 20 percent of city meters, the council heard during Wednesday’s workshop. Water meter reader issues and poor customer service from supplier Sensus have plagued the city with connectivity issues, leaving the city with to manually visit and read 30 to 40 meters each month, interim water superintendent Cory Spieker said.

“It’s closer to 90 to 100 meters (that) must be manually read in the winter,” Spieker said.

The city installed Sensus meters in 2010 as a way to start updating older meters with lead and quality issues, while Sensus advertised remote reading capabilities. In 2014, national lead standards dropped even lower, rendering the Sensus meters out of date. At the same time, the meter readers have been misreporting or unable to report accurate water levels, and the company repeatedly denies problems with their product, Diers said.

“They really have not fixed anything at all,” he told the council. “We’re not getting the service that we’d like.”

The council should begin a scheduled replacement of the water meters again, this time replacing meters with a Badger brand product. The Badger meters should be less expensive while remaining compatible with future upgrades that would allow automatic remote reading, Spieker said.

By Kate Hayden [email protected]

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