With the agreement that the city of Long Lake Fire Department would provide services to the city of Orono coming to an end in 2025, the Orono City Council tabled a request for a new fire utility truck at its city council meeting on Monday, May 10.

Fire Chief James Van Eyll presented a proposal to the council to purchase a new utlity truck with four bids ranging from $170,000 to $190,000 for the utlity truck.

Van Eyll said the department’s capital plan had budgeted $130,000 for the new truck.

“The bids we have been seeing since last fall and early this year have been coming in higher than expected,” Van Eyll said to the council.

Van Eyll then asked the council on how they would like to proceed and that lead to the discussion on the future of the fire departments and who pays for what equipment with the agreement between to the two cities being dissolved.

“I’m not ready to make any decisions for a $100 or $200,000 vehicle today knowing that we don’t know what all the moving parts are without those conversations and the converstations we are having with Long Lake on the future of what equipment we are buying or not buying and the fire station itself and all those kind of issues as well,” Mayor Denny Walsh said. “A lot of moving parts.”

Walsh suggested the council discuss the purchase of the vehicle and other issues surrounding the purchasing of equipment in the fire department at a future work session.

“If it is bought who should really buy it versus splitting buying it at this point when we will be going or separate way and those kind of issues as well,” Walsh said about work session discussion. “A few things to talk about for sure.”

Council member Richard Crosby agreed with Walsh on the need for a work session.

“I think a work session makes a lot of sense,” Crosby said. “It will get everybody on board on when pieces of equipment will need to be replaced and their lifespan and how they will be used in each city. Its something we will need to know and became more familiar with it going into these discussions going forward. It will be good to get everybody on the same page with where the equipment is at and all that. That’s going to help.”

With the truck purchase being tabled for the time being, council member Victoria Seals had one request for Van Eyll.

“Don’t hesistate to still come to us if its something like equipment, live saving that’s expired because we still want our firefighters to be safe,” Seals said.

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