Boonville Has No Plans to Purchase Fire Truck

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BOONVILLE - City officials said Monday a change in priorities resulted in the failure to purchase a new ladder fire truck despite spending $2 million for a new fire station that could house ladder trucks.

The city completed construction of the new station in September 2011, citing the need for ladder trucks as a main reason for constructing the new station. Currently, Boonville must call for mutual aid from the Columbia Fire Department if a burning structure exceeds three stories or 50 feet in height. Columbia Fire Department said the time between dispatch and arrival could exceed 30 minutes.

More than seven months after construction was completed, Boonville residents do not seem to be any closer to seeing a taller truck. Fire Chief Tim Carmichael said a new ladder truck isn't even in the budget for the next fiscal year.

However, Carmichael told KOMU 8 News in October that the city built the station to buy just that.

"This station allows us to accommodate a bigger apparatus. A new fire truck with a taller ladder is next on the city's wish list," said Carmichael.

City Administrator Irl Tessendorf had little to say about the truck issue. "The city changed its priorities. It is doing something with State Fair Community College instead." said Tessendorf.

Tessendorf referred to a deal between SFCC and the city of Boonville to open a satellite campus within city limits. The city used its funds to purchase the Kemper Military Academy at an auction. The city plans to renovate the building and lease the property to SFCC.

While the new station is yet to house a ladder truck, it is host to individual sleeping quarters, a kitchen, classroom, gym and a lounge with a flat screen television.

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