Pentwater voters pass fire millage.

November 4, 2020

Pentwater voters pass fire millage.

PENTWATER — A millage proposal to fund an aerial apparatus for the Pentwater Fire Department received a thumb’s up from voters during the general election Tuesday, Nov. 3, according to a press release issued by PFD.

“Pentwater Fire Department is pleased to announce the successful passage of its ballot measure of .5 mils for six years by a vote of 803-471 for the purchase of an aerial apparatus. The ballot measure allows the purchase of a new 107’ Pierce Enforcer PUC Quint in the amount of approximately $988,797.”

“’We are thankful to the residents that we protect and serve in the Village of Pentwater and Pentwater Township,'” said Pentwater Fire Chief Paul Smith. “We knew this was a large request to ask for, and are thankful to this community that has always supported us.'”

“The aerial is a ‘quint’ (short for quintuple) and provides firefighters with five different tools: fire hose, ground ladders, a pump, a water tank and an aerial device.

“’We’ve been discussing this idea for years. About one year ago, we got serious with the goal of a single axle apparatus, and to keep costs under $1,000,000. One of our quotes was $1.4 million for a tandem (double) axle with a platform that firefighters stand in. We went with a single axle ladder instead to keep costs down, and also because a single-axle ladder is more maneuverable in a residential neighborhood with tight corners,’” said Assistant Fire Chief Ray Hasil. ‘We spoke with other departments that had aerials, and then visited a couple departments that had Pierce Enforcers in service to see how they liked the quality of Pierce.’

“‘In July, Pentwater FD asked Pere Marquette FD to bring their 75’ ladder to Pentwater to see how it measured up to downtown buildings. The Pere Marquette FD visit proved that a 75’ ladder didn’t have the reach that many downtown Pentwater buildings required,’” said Chief Smith. “’There is a lot of new construction in and around Pentwater, and people are building houses as high as zoning and codes allow them. For $40,000 more, it made sense to go with the 107’ ladder.’

“Pentwater FD plans on signing a contract with Pierce before the end of the year. The department will make a $250,000 down payment with funds they already have saved, and finance the remainder. A competitive bid process will be developed for financial institutions to bid on financing the remaining $738,797. The apparatus will take approximately one year to build.”

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