Belpre moves on truck gift plan

BELPRE – City Council approved the first step to donate a 30-year-old fire engine to fire training classes at Washington State Community College during the regular business meeting Monday evening.

“We cannot use it as a fire truck because it has some issues that the department would rather not spend the money on, but it still runs well,” said Belpre Fire Chief Eric Sinnett. “It has been a good truck and (water) pumper, but it has some age on it and we don’t see a need to keep it around.”

The truck, known as Engine Five, is a 1984 Ford that has been with the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department for 30 years and is too worn out for the department’s use, Sinnett said.

On the recommendation of City Law Director Tom Webster, council approved to declare the vehicle excess property, but must pass legislation for the transfer of the truck between the city and Washington State Community College on Colegate Drive in Marietta.

“I’m not against donating it. I just don’t know of any other way to get rid of excess city property,” Webster said.

The legislation will be ready for council’s official vote of approval during the next regular meeting Aug. 11.

“I spoke with John Burdette (public safety center director for the college) and they are elated to get this truck,” said city Safety-Service Director Dave Ferguson. “It’s a win-win for both Washington State and for us.”

Upon the passage of three readings of the legislation, which may occur during the next council meeting, students in the fire training class will use the truck and the equipment for better training.

“By working with them on this, we might get some of the students from the class as firefighters when they graduate,” Sinnett said.

In other business, council approved by voice vote to allow the city to enter into a contract with Burgess and Niple for an engineering study to determine the feasibility of a waterline project along Beach Drive.

DuPont is interested in the project as a possible aid to C8 issues with water supplies in the area, Webster told council.

The study will see if having the city expand its water lines to the residents of Beach Drive, along the river, will be possible.

“Approving to allow the engineering study doesn’t require the city to do anything at this point,” Webster told council.

Ferguson said the city had received the $3,900 check from DuPont to cover the cost of the engineering study.

“Because DuPont has had issues with C8, doing this project may cost less than other ways to aid the problems,” Webster said.