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Stewart Manor officials say they'll fix fire truck

Stewart Manor officials, following the defeat of a proposal to spend $405,000 to buy a new fire truck - the second purchase in less than three years - say they will now proceed with repairing their broken backup truck.

At a standing-room-only meeting in Village Hall on Tuesday night, Mayor James Kelly said the village will seek one more quote on the cost of fixing the 20-year-old pumper truck, which has been out of service since November, before proceeding with repairs.

And to limit expenses in the short term, Kelly said, the village plans to obtain a warranty of at least two to three years on the repair. Before Monday's vote, the village said repairs would cost nearly $60,000.

Residents defeated the proposal to purchase a new truck, 348-263, in a vote that came after two months of debate over whether the village of 0.2 square miles needed a truck with that price tag - or whether it needed a new truck at all, given the purchase of a $650,000 truck in 2008.

Almost 100 residents attended the meeting on Tuesday, where debate over the future of fire service in the village continued.

A few questioned whether it was time to consider options that might reduce costs, such as scaling back or even eliminating the village's fire department and consolidating with neighboring departments. Officials responded with a resounding no, prompting applause from other residents.

"We can't just consolidate," Kelly said. "That term is thrown around, I think, a little fast and loose."

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