Chippewa Falls snorkel truck back from repairs

(WEAU) - The Chippewa Falls snorkel truck is finally back after being out of service for the past month due to a broken seal of hydraulic fluid.

However, a replacement truck is still in the works for the Fire Department. A new fire truck could cost the city between $800,000 and $900,000 and change insurance rates if it’s not replaced.

It’s a snorkel truck that's been with the Chippewa Falls Fire Department since 1981.

The truck can reach up to 85 feet, but the Chippewa Falls Fire Department says they want a truck that can reach over 100 feet.

The Fire Chief says having a 32-year old truck has its limits.

“The parts are very hard to get, and nobody wanted to work on it locally, we had to get it over to a fire truck repair shop over in St. Paul, Minnesota,” said Chief Tom Larson of Chippewa Falls.

The repairs cost $5500 and the Mayor agrees the truck needs replacing.

"A little bit of struggle you have is it can continually to nickel and dime you and have more breakdowns," said Chippewa Falls Mayor Greg Hoffman.

The Chief says Chippewa Falls currently has an insurance rating that keeps rates low, but that could change if the truck isn’t up to date.

"What I would like to do is setup a fund and we can contribute to it somewhat as a city but have other people that we could have a basically a replace the fire truck drive," said Hoffman.

Both the Chief and Mayor say that eliminates raising taxes. Meanwhile another option is to create bonds that can be paid off over a period of time.

“I would hope by the first of September that we could start moving forward and start getting input from the community," said Hoffman.

The chief plans to meet with the public safety committee in July with details on a 110 foot aerial truck that can reach the height of more buildings in Chippewa Falls.

"We do have a few that are higher than 85 feet now. The new sand plant and some of the grain elevators and some of our stuff are higher than that. Projected out over 30 years we don't know what will be built here," said Larson.

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