By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank taxpayers are facing a cost of up to $1 million to replace an aerial ladder truck, town officials said Wednesday night.
The borough council introduced a $1.1 million bonding ordinance to pay for a new rig, which would replace a 25-year-old truck whose ladder components failed during routine maintenance last year, said Fire Marshal and Administrator Stanley Sickels.
Replacement parts are not available, and the vehicle is no longer compliant with national firefighting equipment standards, he said.
The existing truck, housed at the Navesink Hook & Ladder Company on Mechanic Street, cost the borough about $450,000 when it was built in 1987, Sickels said. Prices have more than doubled since then, he said.
Bids are expected to come in around $950,00 he said. The existing truck has no market value except as scrap, he said.
More than a dozen blue-clad volunteer firefighters turned out in support of the bond introduction. One of them Vince Sarullo, owns an a specialty accounting business located directly opposite the Hook & Ladder house on Mechanic.
“We’re volunteers,” Sarullo told redbankgreen afterward. “The last thing you want is to go to a fire and worry if the equipment is going to fail underneath you.”