Lehigh Valley

Forks Fire to get dollars in a row for truck purchases

FORKS TWP., Pa. - Forks Township Supervisors want to see a purchase plan after Fire Chief Bill Carver outlined several big ticket items in his five-year plan Thursday night.

Carver outlined his five-year plan, covering capital expenses, opportunities for better service and employee training.

The plan included replacing Rescue Truck 2541 in 2018, a plan that would put the purchase out for bid before supervisors finished next year’s budget.

The truck is one-of-a-kind within the department. Its equipment and duties couldn’t be absorbed by other vehicles if the rescue truck went in for refurbishment, Carver said.

Forks’ ladder truck is also due for replacement in the next few years. Since purchasing the truck in 1996, Forks Township began allowing for three-story townhouses, which pose access problems for the truck’s 75-ft ladder.

“We’ve had to get creative with how we do things,” Carver said.

Vice Chair Erik Chuss asked for a rough estimate of costs and whether the fire company could push back the purchasing schedule by a year.

Carver said he could push the rescue truck back to 2019 by putting extra strain on the rest of the fleet.

“There’s nothing in life for free,” Carver said. “If I take away here I’m putting it back somewhere else.”

Also, an increase in traffic lights throughout the township will keep raising the department’s response times, Carver said.

He said in 2016 the department’s response time was almost 12 minutes, compared just over 9 minutes in 2015.

The department is looking into whether starting a live-in program or building a new satellite station on the northern side of Forks would be a feasible solution, but had no costs to present to the board.

In other news, UGI Utilities’ natural gas regulation station is moving forward after supervisors approved the land development plan with a 3-1 vote.

Supervisor Dan Martyak voted nay, voicing frustration that  the township deferring sidewalks on another project.

Even the limited sidewalks put in place at the UGI site would have added safety to Knox Avenue and gotten the ball rolling on future sidewalk projects, Martyak said.

“I’m shocked people aren’t hit walking on this road,” he said.

Construction has an estimated May 16 start date. With two crews, construction would take two months.


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