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Editorial: Fire truck purchase is the right move

The Farmington City Council finds itself in a difficult position. At a time when budget cuts have become a fact of life, the city also sees a pressing need for a new fire truck.

It's no small expense -- a new fire engine is expected to cost the city between $500,000 and $600,000 -- but it also appears necessary.

On Monday Farmington City Council members agreed to find a way to pay for a new truck. They authorized a fire department committee to look into options, including buying a new truck and buying a demo that a manufacturer would build, then use as a display model for several months before turning it over to the city.

It was the right decision. Really, it was the only decision council members could really make. The fire department has fought multiple fires in recent months with a fire engine that was unavailable because it was in for repairs. When you're dealing with the safety of human beings -- either firefighters or the Farmington residents they might be called upon to save -- that kind of uncertainty is unacceptable.

So, the city will likely get a new fire truck, and city leaders will have to find a way to pay for it.

It's an issue that probably should have been addressed long ago. The city should have been planning for this day and setting money aside.

This is only the beginning. The department has a long list of vehicles that are at, near or in some cases past the end of their projected useful life. It is a big project, and one the city is unlikely to solve in the immediate future.

For now, a new fire engine will have to do.

It's a good start.