Linwood FD to get new truck

Town board approves purchase of Pierce Manufacturing model


Alice Pickering
Linwood Reporter

A controversy which erupted at the Jan. 8 Linwood Town Board meeting regarding a new fire truck was resolved last Tuesday. The fire department was given the go-ahead to order a Pierce Manufacturing truck, which was the selection of the department’s truck committee. The committee has spent over a year determining specifications and priority features of the unit.

Bob Millerbernd spoke of the meeting he attended with members of the truck committee and representatives of the manufacturer.

“They know what they’re talking about,” said Millerbernd.

Features selected for their cost savings include painted steel wheels, at a savings of $900 each. Millerbernd emphasized what the department has said:  safety to Linwood residents was the most important criterion.

On the motion of Chair Phil Osterhus, supervisors added an additional $75,000 to the down payment, bringing it to $195,000. Currently, about $50,000 is included in the line item for fire capital.

Mike Halliday wanted to see the written contract to be certain that the township is protected. Terms of the five-year lease plan are for 2.9 percent. Payments will be between $53,000 and $54,000.

Jeff Rheyn, regional manager for Pierce, answered questions about the truck and the terms of the contract. Pierce has provided a certified bond for the amount of the truck down payment, insuring the township’s deposit is protected if problems arise.

The board also unanimously approved the action to purchase the new truck. Delivery should take place in July or August.

In other fire department news, Chief Darryl Ballman announced that the department has three new candidates for firefighter: Mike Bebe, Holly Brower, and Stephanie Klatzke. Hiring is now done in January, with training to begin in mid-month. In a cooperative agreement with Anoka Fire Training School, candidates train at no cost to the township. At course completion, half the cost of turn-out gear is paid, plus $500 incentive to firefighters.

Ballman announced that Tom Bever, a Linwood firefighter, has successfully completed St. Paul Fire Academy and is now a full-time St. Paul firefighter. Steve Erichson is now a member of the Minneapolis Fire Department. Captain Mike Christian and firefighter Brian Meyer have accepted positions in Chisago County on the SWAT Team.

Other Business

Attorney Mike Haag reported on the burned property at 23840 Lyons Street. There is no mortgage on the property, but all assets are tied to the property.  Only recently has a probate petition been filed.

Haag explained that the township can enter into a written contract with the probate estate, offering to clean up the site with a lien filed against the sale of the property. The estimate for the clean-up is between $5,000 and $7,500. Ed Kramer argued against capping the well on the property, because a workable well could be an asset for a potential buyer. Supervisors agreed with Haag and authorized him to sign for the township in negotiations with the attorney for the estate.
The board approved longevity increases in wages for township employees. This will be the first raise in three years. Four employees are affected. However, the board voted against cost of living increases by a vote of 4-1. Osterhus abstained from the vote.

Engineer Craig Jochum submitted cost estimates for repair of six street segments in the township.  These are for East Martin Lake Road, about 3,500 feet, to correct a curve and an overlay ($127,000): reclaim and pave 2,400 feet of Unser Street ($139,000); shape and pave 2,850 feet of Typo Creek Drive ($210,000); construct to gravel standards 470 feet of Elbe Street ($34,400) and 1,000 of 227th Place ($78,000); and shape and pave 3,050 feet of Thames Street ($224,500).

The second annual Linwood Skating Party was a success, with good ice and about 60 people attending.  While there are no “regular” warming house hours, a call to Halliday or Millerbernd will get the doors unlocked for skating.

Halliday reported that the recently ordered hockey goals and nets will arrive soon. Replacement nets for the existing goals have also been ordered.