Tanker Debate in Coal Country!
Loyall,Kentucky council undecided on tanker
By JENNIFER McDANIELS — Staff Writer
The Loyall Fire Department needs a new tanker, according to Mayor Charlie Wattenberger, but some council members aren’t so sure.
Mayor Charlie Wattenberger informed members of the council Monday during a regular monthly meeting that he had sold the department’s 1978 tanker, which had well over 300,000 miles, and, with the fire department’s help, had found a newer model he considered to be “a good deal.”
Wattenberger even had figured out where the money would come from for the 1986 tanker, which he said was priced at $17,000. If the council would agree to change coal severance funding from a city park project to purchasing the newer tanker, then $15,000 was already there. The mayor said the rest could come from the city’s spook house profits.
Council member Clarence Longworth said the matter needed to be discussed more before it came to a vote. He questioned Wattenberger about past rejected bids made on the city’s old tanker and why the mayor decided to go ahead and sell it.
Longworth said he was under the impression that the old tanker was declared surplus property because it simply was not in use. Loyall Fire Department assistant chief Hollace Wilson quickly dismissed that notion.
“It wasn’t safe,” Wilson told council members. “That truck was dangerous...we took it out of service because of safety issues.”
“It was a piece of junk,” Wattenberger added.
Wilson also said the vehicle in question would serve both as a pumper as well as a tanker. He explained that would save the city money by the fire department not having to dispatch two separate vehicles.
Council member Albert Roper also had doubts about the proposed tanker. He said he thought if someone was willing to purchase the city’s old tanker, then it still must be usable.
Wilson said the old tanker was purchased for use on a strip mine job site.
Council member James Hagy said he didn’t have a problem with the fire department researching newer models but that he didn’t approve of a gas tanker, which was the type that was presented to the council Monday night.
“I prefer a diesel, but I thought this was a good deal,” Wattenberger told him.
Council member Susan Ball told Wattenberger she trusted his judgment.
Apparently, Longworth didn’t.
“This is up for the council to decide,” he said.
“You all are here one hour a month,” Wattenberger said. “I’m here 8 hours a day, five days a week.”
After more discussion, a vote was finally called to purchase the 1986 tanker. It failed.
In a separate vote, however, it was agreed to change coal severance money from the city’s park project to the possible purchase of a newer tanker.
Wattenberger wanted to appoint a committee of two council members to research tankers currently on the market. He named Longworth and Roper.
Longworth quickly denied, saying he didn’t have time to research the matter.
Wilson told council members he would come up with more options and present his findings at a later meeting.
You throught your department had needs.This department could not get approval to purchase a 1986 model tanker for 17,000.00.