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Pawnee Rock Council ponders new fire truck
new vlc Pawnee rocks hoped for new truck
Pawnee Rocks volunteer fire department hopes to replace its 1966 fire truck with a similar M925 built in the 1980s. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
The council approved the City of Pawnee Rock internet usage policy, which included when notices of “private” and “confidential” shall be used.  
The treasurer’s report from Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball was accepted, with an explanation about a difference in petty cash attributed to closing the books earlier in January than the final day of the month.  
A replacement part ordered by the fire department was billed to an incorrect address.  The bill was originally date for October, but had finally been delivered to the city office.  The charge of $1,497 will be taken from the fire department’s current year funding.  
Approved paying for upcoming training dates for the maintenance department.
A discussion about the cost of ice melt and how each department is billed for it occurred between the council and Jack.  It ended with Jack deciding to return to the city salt in the possession of the fire department rather than having it billed.

The Pawnee Rock City Council meets on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the council chambers adjacent to the city clerk’s office.  The next regular meeting will be April 6.  

If all goes well, soon the City of Pawnee Rock will not need to depend on an antique fire truck to ensure the safety of its residents.  The city council met Monday night and continued to wrestle with the details of acquiring instead a somewhat newer truck.
Currently, the city uses a 1966 2.5 ton truck to haul its 800-gallon tank to fight fires in the area.  
“When you call around for parts, and people ask you if you’re restoring it, you know you need to get a new truck,” said Galen Zortman, the assistant chief of the city’s volunteer fire department..  
He and Pawnee Rock Fire Chief Barry Jack have worked out a trade for a 5-ton M925 truck built in the late 1980s to replace the antique.  But the newer truck will be taller, and it will need to be painted, all of which will cost money, and money is in short supply.  
After a series of questions from council members, it became clear that Jack and Zortman have yet to determine with absolute certainty if it will fit through the overhead door of the fire house.  Written estimates and a cost analysis are also needs identified by the council before they give the nod to move ahead on the project.   
According to Jack, the door has a maximum clearance of 10 feet.  The height of the truck at its highest point is nine and a half feet.  Neither man is certain if the tank will sit higher when it’s attached or not.  They also aren’t certain if the emergency light bar from the 1966 truck will be too tall.  If so, a different lighting option will be necessary.
“We won’t be able to answer for certain until the truck gets here and we put it all together,” Jack said.
Paint, too, is a question.  In order to save the city money, the fire department is ready to paint the newer truck themselves, and provided a loose estimate for paint bought locally and applied by sprayer.  Council president Deb Bader, however, had many questions about how and where the painting would be done, and if primer and activator would be needed.  Jack said the paint would not require either, as it came ready to apply.  

Timing will be a factor
When the new truck arrives, the old truck will have to go right away.  That means Pawnee Rock will have an albeit brief period when a such a truck will not be available, and the city will be at risk.  This concerned more than one of the council members.  However, Jack countered that if something came up, he would request mutual aid.  
Other questions the council asked included specifics on the height of exhaust pipes, and how the men would move the tank from one vehicle to another.  
Finally, the mayor asked if the council felt they had enough information to make a decision.  Chris and Dorian requested written estimates be provided.  Bader concurred.
“If this comes out of our equipment fund, we have to know how much to pull out,” she said.  “We need a plan.”
Mayor Linda Mccowan asked Jack and Zortman to compile a report, and the council tabled the decision.  They will take it up in a special meeting as soon as the estimates and quotes are available.  
In addition to the acquisition of the newer truck, the fire department is also working to keep a smaller pumper built in the 1970s operational.  Seals on the tank need to be repaired, and the department has not had much luck locating a dealer that can fix it.  The closest is in Olathe, according to Zortman.  Bader noted she had seen quite a bit of water in the firehouse from the leak.  

Municipal code compliance  
The council also approved the municipal code compliance process which dictates how the newly established court will proceed.  
Last week, council members met with Municipal Judge Dale Snyder for training. There, they outlined the process of what happens before a complaint is heard.
“We don’t want municipal court to be punitive,” Mccowan said.  “We would rather it be a call to action.”
First, a person who wishes to file a complaint may submit it in writing at the city office.  The compliance officer will then investigate the complaint and determine if a violation of city ordinances has occurred.  
If no violation can be determined, the compliance officer will inform the complainant in writing why the violation is not valid.  If it is determined that one exists, the compliance officer will in form the person at fault exactly what the violation is, and what is expected to clear it, and by when.  Upon reinspection, if the violation has not been cleared, a second notice will be sent, including a date when the work needs to be completed.  Only after a third inspection and no compliance will a court date be set.  The city’s maintenance director, Shane...., also acts the the city compliance officer.
“This process is already active,”Bader said.