PLAINVILLE - Voters overwhelmingly supported bonding $2.1 million to replace two aging fire vehicles Tuesday.
The referendum was held from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Plainville Fire Station. Town Manager Robert E. Lee said the referendum passed with 669 voters in favor and 83 against. That means that of those who voted, 89 percent voted yes. The vehicles that will be replaced are a 30-year-old pumper and a 26-year-old tower truck.
“I’m not surprised that it passed,” said Lee. “The volunteers with the Plainville Fire Company have a lot of support in the community. This allows us to address the immediate needs of the department in a planned manner.”
When the issue of the aging firetrucks was first brought before the Town Council, Council Chair Kathy Pugliese said the town’s financial planner had supported the firetruck replacement go to bonding in a separate referendum rather than being included in the budget. Pugliese said at the time that the council wants to manage its money in the most “thoughtful, responsible way” and that she was “absolutely confident” the referendums would be “wildly successful.”
“I am delighted that this is taken care of,” said Pugliese. “The people understood what we needed to do. This was a wonderful affirmation of what the council recommended.”
Pugliese said the trucks would likely be purchased by the end of the summer after it goes out to bid.
Councilor Rosemary Morante said she was “very pleased” by the “overwhelming support” from voters.
“This will allow for us to fund critical pieces of fire equipment that are very much needed,” said Morante. “We have a top-notch group of firefighters in Plainville who are very dedicated.”
Councilor Scott Saunders said he is “very appreciative” of the voters supporting the referendum.
“I am thrilled that the people of Plainville continue to support our volunteer fire department and supported the purchase of equipment that will allow them to do their job protecting us in a safe and efficient manner. They do a great job for our town.”
Councilor Deb Tompkins said she is “very happy” to see that people supported the fire department.
“It is great that we will be getting both trucks rather than having one in the budget and raising the mil rate,” she said. “Bonding was definitely the way to go.”
When Lee posted that the referendum had passed on the Plainville Talks Facebook page, more than 350 people liked it. Plainville Fire Marshal Larry Sutherland commented and thanked Lee and the finance department “for the due process in bringing this to referendum” which he called the “only reasonable route to fiscal responsibility.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.