Royalton Township approves new fire truck, loan

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — After saving the money for a decade, Royalton Township trustees were ready to make a move on a new fire truck.

The board approved the purchase of a 70-foot platform fire truck Monday night for a total of $822,000. The township is paying Sutphen, an Ohio-based emergency services vehicle maker and marketer, to build the fire truck.

Supervisor Robert Basselman said the truck has a single-axle aerial platform that gives the township another choice for its No.1 pumping truck at fire scenes.

“It’s a ladder platform that goes up 70 feet,” Basselman said. “The township ordinance allows buildings to be up to two and a half stories, so the ladder will work anywhere in town.”

In addition to buying the fire truck, trustees agreed to finance the remainder of the truck’s purchase through Chemical Bank. The township will enter into a 15-year loan at a 3.14 percent interest rate.

“We’ve had the truck committee researching for a year now, but we have been saving money for the last 10 years. The township has been putting $30,000 a year to start that (fire truck) fund.”

With the savings going toward the fire truck, Basselman said the loan will cover the remaining $525,000.

Chemical Bank is also the township’s depositing bank.

Once the township acquires the new fire truck, Basselman said the fire department will take its oldest one out of service – a 1973 ladder truck.

“We’ll have five total. We will not certify the truck if we get the new one,” Basselman said. “That truck will either end up being a parade truck or go to auction. That truck usually rolled with the rest because of the ladder.”

The next oldest truck was made in the late 1990s.

It will take 9 to 12 months before the township gets its new fire truck. Basselman said they expect it in November or December.

“We budgeted this for a 30- to 40-year program,” Basselman said. “With a shelf life of 40 years, the truck’s expense is roughly $20,000 a year.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Feb. 15, 2017)


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