Liberty Township trustees approved $455,403 to purchase a 2016 pumper fire engine from the Sutphen Corporation to replace the current 1998 engine at Station 322 on Sawmill Parkway.

“When I arrived we had a couple engines that were down,” said Interim Fire Chief William Fields. “Chief (Tim) Jensen was given the go ahead for $550,000 to find a new engine.”

Fields said the department formed a committee, lead by Battalion Chief James Reardon and Lieutenant Ben Lovell, to work through the process of finding an engine to replace the 18-year-old model. “They did one fantastic job,” Fields said. “They were given some parameters, when I got here we took another $50,000 off the top of it.”

Fields said the committee had the task of finding a new engine and all the equipment the department needed to have with a budget of $500,000. “They brought the project in almost a $100,000 under budget and we got everything we want,” he said. “That’s good management and I’m really proud of these two guys.”

Lovell told the board that about a year ago the lieutenants of Station 322 were assigned to find a replacement for the old engine. He then explained when the fire equipment was reorganized in 2013 the newer equipment was moved to station 321 while the older equipment was moved to engine 322.

“The truck we selected is very close to what we were looking for, but there were a few modifications to make to bring it up to the Liberty Township standards,” he said.

In addition to the the new engine, Lovell said the committee included an equipment cache in the budget that would allow them to upgrade some equipment for Station 322 because a lot of it was 2004, 1998 and pre-1998. “We’re not asking for anything crazy, no flying unicorns or anything like that,” he said.

“We’re asking for some replacement LED lights, some new nozzles, a new fan and some other small equipment.”

“We are $94,596 and some change under budget,” Lovell told trustees. “Hopefully when the new truck pulls in here all we’ll have to do is load some hose on it and it will be ready to go.”

Trustee Melanie Leneghan asked what will happen to the old engine once the new one arrives and is placed in service.

Reardon said it will be sold on, a website to for bidding on government surplus items. “It’s 18 years old, it’s got some structural issues,” he said, “I’m hoping we’ll get $12,000.”

In other business:

• Trustees announced a legal notice requesting proposals for the bidding of three power load EMS hydraulic automatic load systems cots for the for the fire department.

The township’s fire department was awarded a grant for $118,446 to purchase power load EMS cots from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant was written by Mickey Smith, paramedic, firefighter for the department.

When the grant was awarded, Smith told trustees that power load cots reduce the risk of “back injuries”and “Bureau of Workman’s Compensation claims.”

The grant is provided through FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program.

According to Cathy Buehrer, administrative assistant, the advertisement for bids will run in The Gazette and on the township website for the next 21 days.

Proposals are to be dropped off to the township’s offices at 10104 Brewster Lane Suite 125, Powell , Ohio 43065. Deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. Monday Nov. 7, and will be opened by trustees Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. during the board session.

• Trustee Shyra Eichhorn said Jewett Road will be closed east bound at State Route 315 from Oct. 24–28.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

Replacement committee saves Liberty taxpayers $94,596

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.