MOUNT VERNON — The city will soon have a new fire truck on the streets, but it will look a bit different.
Fire Chief Chad Christopher said he just returned from South Dakota, where he went to the Rosenbauer plant to inspect the new “Quint” truck that will replace the old ladder truck that is being retired.
The ladder doesn’t reach quite as high as the old truck, but its smaller size makes it more suitable to some of the narrow streets it might have to navigate. Christopher said it is to be delivered by Dec. 1, so it won’t be here for Sunday’s Christmas parade.
But when you see it, you’ll know it. Christopher said the truck is painted orange and black, instead of the traditional red and white.
The old truck is being sold by sealed bid, but because of its age it cannot be use for emergency service any longer. Still, there may be farmers, tree service or other businesses interested in the ladder feature.
Christopher also reminded people that the holiday season is also winter fire season. Check your wood burners and fireplaces, keep flues clean and keep combustibles away from space heaters.
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Leaf season has been extended. Street superintendent Tom Hinkle said that because of the weather, they have not been able to complete all the leaf pickup.
“It’s hard to pick up saturated leaves or leaves with ice and snow on them,” he said. “They will clog the machinery.”
He said they have begun another full sweep of the city, beginning with the main streets.
“We’ll do another full sweep of the city, then we’ll continue to pick up leaves on an ‘as needed’ basis through Nov. 30 when we’re notified there are piles waiting,” he said. “We’ll keep one truck equipped for leaf pickup for a time, but the others will be converted for winter chores.”
They had collected 165 loads of leaves by Wednesday, compared to 160 last year.
He said they had to salt a few streets Monday, but they were able to do it with the one truck not used for leaf pickup.
He said with the abbreviated schedule this week, workers also spent time getting downtown ready, putting up banners and Christmas baskets and placing barricades to be ready to put in place for Sunday’s parade.
Jason Epley, assistant to the engineer, said this year’s street paving program will be completed in the spring, This includes South Main from Public Square to the viaduct and sections of Vine Street and Clay Street, as well as some small alleys.
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Director Mathias Orndorf said cleanup is taking place on Clay Street, where they replaced an old water line, but the line on Kirk Street will not be replaced until spring, when a new 6-inch line will replace the old galvanized line.
The item last week that said shut-off notices would be sent out Dec. 4 was incorrect. The notices have already been sent out, Dec. 4 is when shut-offs will take place if bills are not paid.
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The power poles in Parrott Street have not yet been removed, as AEP is waiting for Century Link and Spectrum to remove their lines, but Epley said work is supposed to get underway in the coming week.
The foundation for the new signal pole at the northeast corner has been poured and the city should be setting the new pole in the next couple weeks.
A small retaining wall at the northeast corner s expected to be built this winter.
Wooster Road is also open. Epley said there are some miscellaneous items an site cleanup to complete and the contractor will have to revisit the area in the spring to complete grading work.
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Parks and Buildings
The transaction drawer modification for the walk-up window at the income tax office, making the drawer larger, was completed this week, Superintendent Dave Carpenter reported. The communication system has been ordered, but hasn’t arrived so an install date has not been set.
Christmas light and decorations are all installed on Public Square for Sunday’s Christmas Parade and Walk. A new nativity scene was purchased this year and is being used. The old one was given to Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Goose Hunt applications for the Dec. 8 and Dec. 14 hunts at Ariel-Foundation Park will be accepted through 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Parks Office at 307 Wooster Road.
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Town Center Petroleum was the apparent low bidder to supply unleaded gasoline and on-road diesel (both summer and winter), offering a discount of 15 cents per gallon off the daily price at the pump, Mayor Richard Mavis Reported.
Santmyer was the only bidder for off-road summer and winter diesel, also with the 15-cent discount, and for bulk fuel diesel (both on and off road, summer and winter) with a 10-cent per gallon discount.