Blue River approves fire truck borrowing

Out of 37 votes cast during a public meeting held Wednesday evening, Sept. 2, 29 were in favor

Blue River fire chief Gabe Lavoie gets congratulated by Mike Wiegele during a meeting held Wednesday evening for his work in holding a vote to get a new fire truck.

Blue River fire chief Gabe Lavoie gets congratulated by Mike Wiegele during a meeting held Wednesday evening for his work in holding a vote to get a new fire truck.

Blue River Fire Department has taken another step towards getting a new fire truck.

Out of 37 votes cast during a public meeting held Wednesday evening, Sept. 2, 29 were in favor of borrowing to buy a new truck, seven were against, and there was one spoiled ballot, according to Dustin TamaraTalksJeanDeuling, chair of Blue River Improvement District.

The ballots were counted by former Thompson Headwaters (Area B) director Steve Quinn and Charmaine Schenstead, vice-chair of the Thompson Headwaters services committee.

About 50 people attended the meeting, which was held in the Blue River Community Hall.

In a letter sent earlier to area residents, Deuling had said the improvement district wants to borrow up to $385,000 to purchase a new fire truck and apparatus.

The present truck is a 1980 GMC and no longer certified to be the department’s first responding truck, he wrote.

“It’s incredibly important for all the homes and businesses in Blue River to have a functioning and properly trained fire department,” said fire chief Gabe Lavoie, pointing to Blue River’s isolation.

Only a few weeks earlier there had been five small forest fires within five km of the community, he said.

The fire department presently has nine members fully trained and another six in the process of being trained.

They hope to recruit another two or three by new year’s.

The proposed borrowing to buy the new fire truck would result in property taxes on a $160,000 property in Blue River going up by about $150 per year for 10 years.

Inset photo: Firefighter Tamara Salzmann (l) tells former longtime Blue River resident Jean Nelson about the benefits of having a new fire truck.