Press-Republican

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July 15, 2013

County weighs buying new airport firetruck

PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County Legislature is moving toward authorizing the purchase of a new firetruck for Plattsburgh International Airport.

The County Finance Committee this week agreed to OK a vehicle with a 3,000-gallon capacity.

But the full legislature hasn’t given final approval.

“The bottom line is I still have to get a resolution passed,” Airport Manager Chris Kreig told the Press-Republican. “I expect to present the resolution at the next legislature meeting at the end of the month.”

HOTTER FIRES

Kreig has explored options that wouldn’t require the purchase of a new firetruck. But local fire companies don’t have equipment suited to extinguishing aircraft fires, which burn hotter than structure fires because of the jet fuel, said Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru).

The airport has its own staff of full-time firefighters to respond to any emergencies.

RECONDITIONED TRUCK

Should the resolution pass, the county will purchase a reconditioned 1993 vehicle for $192,000, Langley said.

A new truck of its kind would cost about $1 million.

Kreig likened a new truck to having an insurance policy should an emergency occur at the airport.

“This is additional capability to ensure that there are not gaps in coverage,” he said. “We have another firetruck, but it doesn’t meet the FAA requirements for what (large planes) we have flying into the airport.”

Larger aircraft have taken to fueling at Plattsburgh International Airport instead of at the Brunswick Executive Airport in Brunswick, Maine, Langley said.

“When anything larger comes in, we’ll have the capacity; they won’t have to pass over us,” he said, adding that the new truck will “open more revenue streams.”

TRANSMISSION REPAIR

The airport’s primary firetruck, a Rosenbauer, is fully functional but needs transmission repairs to prevent possible malfunction, Kreig said.

Technicians will fix the truck on-site.

While the date they will do that hasn’t been determined yet, the fix should take about two days, if all goes according to plan, Kreig said.

The new transmission, weighing about a ton and valued at $20,000, isn’t costing the airport anything.

“The company was gracious enough to provide a replacement transmission,” he said.

Email Felicia Krieg:fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg

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