SHELDON—The Sheldon Fire Co. is seeing red when it comes to finding a replacement for its 1994 Spartan aerial fire truck.
The department would rather see yellow, though, since that’s the color of its fleet of trucks at its disposal.
However, the aerial fire truck the department looked at to potentially replaced its damaged 1994 Spartan truck is red.
But that was only a minor detail as the Sheldon City Council heard an update on the search for a replacement aerial fire truck for the department during its meeting Wednesday, May 5.
Sheldon Fire Co. first assistant chief Brad Hindt, who also is a member of the council, was among three Sheldon representatives who made the trip to Huntsville, AL, to view an aerial fire truck from Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus.
According to its website, Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus is the largest buyer and seller of used fire trucks in the Western Hemisphere.
The Sheldon Fire Co. is in need of a replacement aerial fire truck after its 1994 Spartan aerial was heavily damaged on March 18 when the ladder extension struck a large branch of a maple tree on West Eighth Street.
Sheldon city manager Sam Kooiker filed an insurance claim with the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool, which notified the city the aerial truck was totaled.
Ever since receiving the news in early April, the Sheldon Fire Co. has been on the lookout for a replacement aerial since the damaged one is out of commission.
The department first looked at a used aerial truck in St. Cloud, MN, but there was too much salt damage, so it passed.
That led to the trip to Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus more than a week ago to look over a red aerial fire truck.
“We spent the day there, looking over it, pumping it, running it,” Hindt said. “We had a list of items that we are negotiating with, things that we want done to the truck before we move forward. Seeing where that final number comes out at.”
The insurance settlement from the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool is in the amount of $180,021.60. A used aerial fire truck can cost anywhere from $400,000 to almost $1 million.
As the Sheldon Fire Co. looks at a replacement aerial truck, it is not just going over used options. While the original idea was to purchase a used truck, buying a new one also is on the table.
A new aerial fire truck would cost in the ballpark of $1 million-$1.5 million.
“We are also doing our due diligence at looking at new and seeing what the price of that is and that compares to used,” Hindt said. “Do you keep it used 12 to 15 years whereas you could keep a new one for 20?”
Hindt added any new truck order would take about a year delivery. A used truck would be anywhere from 90 to 120 days delivery, which would include the list of what the Sheldon Fire Co. would want done to it.
“It could be four to six months,” Hindt said. “We will report back when we have some more information.”
With the aerial fire truck out of commission, the Sheldon Fire Co. does have permission to use the Sioux Center Fire Department’s or the Orange City Fire Department’s aerial truck if the situation were to come up.
The Sheldon Fire Co. also has looked into rental options as the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool offers rental coverage, but it was stated rental machines are hard to find.
The city council last Wednesday also heard an update on the 2021 summer street projects from public works director Todd Uhl.
The mainline paving on North 18th Avenue was completed on April 28. If all goes well, the street could open to traffic late this week. Oak Street from Washington Avenue to Rainbow Drive was poured and if the schedule holds, Oak Street from Wansink Avenue to North 18th Avenue will be torn out either this week or next week.
The Third Avenue from 11th Street to the railroad tracks is projected to start in late June. Pine Street from Second Avenue to Fifth Avenue is slated for early August and North Fifth Avenue north of Pine Street is scheduled for September.
In new business, the city council approved the replacement of its server and the information technology managed services.
The current server was provided by Super HiTech of Sheldon, which is co-owned by councilman Wayne Barahona. He abstained from the voting and took the floor to answer any questions the council had.
Kooiker also received quotes from IT in a Box, which is located in South Carolina.
The council decided to stick with Super HiTech, which will provide the new server and any service that goes with it. The upgrade will cost $2,649.94 and the services will cost $3,134, which go through the 2021-22 fiscal year.
The council also approved the appointment of Madelyn Mullally to the Sheldon Public Library Board of Trustees.
In other items, the city council approved resolutions for:
n Setting dates of 4:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, May 12) for a consultation meeting and 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 2, for a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the urban renewal plan.
n Plans and specs for the sewer collections system improvements.
n A utility easement with the owner of 1571 Thorman Ave.
n A liquor license renewal for Casey’s General Store at the intersection of Highway 18 and Washington Avenue
n A zoning ordinance amendment to rezone 3075 Nest Ave. to suburban residential.