Originally published in the 10/12/18 print edition of Yellowstone County News.
LOCKWOOD — Sometime during the next two to three years the Lockwood Fire District Board must consider replacing its ladder fire truck, an expenditure that could reach almost a million dollars, said Lockwood Fire Chief John Staley during the October meeting of the board last Wednesday. The good news is that the district is in a good position financially to handle the replacement.
The current vehicle is 25 years old and has already had an engine replacement that cost $400,000. Its biggest problem now is a pump that frequently springs a leak. While repairs are still possible, they will become increasingly difficult as replacement parts are no longer being made and they must be acquired from used vehicles, a process that can be lengthy.
Frosty Erben, chairman of the fire board, said that hethought they should begin the process sooner rather than later because the cost will only increase with each passing year.
Staley said that a used ladder truck, less than five years old, would cost at least $675,000. A demo would be at least $775,000 and a brand new truck would be at least $850,000, “for now.”