FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local firefighters presented a plan to restore a Fort St. John Fire Department relic to council in February, and now it’s closer to becoming a reality.
The Firefighters Charitable Society could be receiving the Engine 1 fire truck for $100 if council approves the sale on Tuesday.
Engine 1 is the first fire truck the city ever had, and the firefighters are looking to repurpose it and use it during events. In the future, they plan to have the truck on display in the fire hall eventually.
“The disposition of this fire truck offers an opportunity to repurpose this obsolete piece of equipment to ensure that it provides value to a nonprofit as a fundraising tool and that it may occasionally support special events within the city,” says Milo MacDonald in a report to council.
“The Fort St. John Firefighters Charitable Society has access to donated material and labor which will allow the restoration of this historical piece of equipment to take place in a fiscally responsible manner.”
In a May 25th report, CAO Milo MacDonald says there have been discussions regarding the city taking on the restoration project. However, the project never came to fruition “because of the challenge of expending public funds for a restoration”.
MacDonald says engine one is in reasonable mechanical condition but isn’t roadworthy and would cost $50,000 to restore.
“Although the truck has historical value, it would be difficult to justify that the City undertake a restoration of the truck with taxpayer dollars because there are many higher priorities.”
The city could auction off the truck or dispose of it, but the city would lose the historical value, says the report.
Starting in 2016, the Firefighters Charitable Society has given back $300,000 to the community to assist 120 families with medical travel needs.