COLUMBIA - Steve Paulsell, chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District, presented the district board of directors with a roughly $26 million wish list for capital improvements Wednesday. The list comes in anticipation of an upcoming bond issue to purchase new trucks, equipment and to renovate stations.
The list includes spending for apparatus, facilities, health and safety, recruitment and retention, and training.
Board member Shelly Dometrorch said the final list of purchases "will be much shorter" and that many of the purchases could be funded by grants rather than county taxes.
Paulsell discussed the matter of aging fire trucks that need to be replaced, suggesting a seven-year cycle of bond issues. His idea was to replace half the fire district's fleet every 14 years to keep maintenance costs consistent and to operate with a fleet of fully operational trucks.
"When it's three in the morning and there's a fire, that truck needs to start right up," board member John Williamson said.
Paulsell said the fire district needs to "create a home environment rather than an institutional environment" at fire district stations "to keep non-resident and resident firefighters around the stations."
"The more volunteers we have around the fire stations, the better," Paulsell said.
Also included in the list of suggested purchases were:
- Quick Response Vehicles
- Two air compressors
- Firefighting equipment
- Hazmat equipment
- 4 ATVs
- A scissor lift
- Circular saws for fire trucks
- Self-contained breathing apparatus
The fire district board of directors will meet again at 4 p.m. Monday to discuss financial policies and accounting software.