NORWICH – Since November, the City of Norwich Fire Department has been exploring viable options to replace its 31-year-old ladder truck, which hasn’t been used to full capacity since last June.
At Tuesday’s City Joint Committees meeting, NFD Chief Tracy Chawgo addressed members of the city council with plausible options to replace the apparatus, which has been part of the department since 2000. Although buying a used truck hasn’t been ruled out, it might be more beneficial to buy new, he said, yet buying new comes with a staggering $1.3 million price tag, which certainly doesn’t appeal to city officials.
In June, the department’s current arial truck - a 1982 model with a 75-foot ladder - did poorly in an annual inspection by the American Test Center. Underlying cross-members are so badly deteriorated that it was deemed unsafe to use the ladder and repairs could cost anywhere between $60,000 and $100,000. The expense of repairs far outweight the advantages, according to Chawgo, and any fixes would only be short-term, which ignited the search for a replacement.