A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Newport Fire Department to get much-needed addition with purchase of new Pierce Fire Engine

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

Even though Thanksgiving is still more than a week away, Newport Fire Chief Bill Darin received an early Christmas gift Monday night during the Newport Board of Commissioners meeting.

The Board authorized Newport City Manager Tom Fromme to execute an interlocal contract for the purchase of a Pierce Fire Engine Truck. It will be a much-needed addition for the Newport Fire/EMS Department.

“The one it will replace is 23 years old,” said Fromme, who pointed out that 20 years of service is usually about the maximum expectation. “We have a pumper that’s not that old, and we have a ladder truck up in South Newport that’s only a couple of years old.

The Newport Fire Department will get a much-needed addition with the purchase of a new Pierce Fire Engine Truck.

“So we will have three units that are within five years total.”

The cost for such a replacement is normally between $550,000 and $570,000. The Newport Fire/EMS Department serves more than 8,500 homes and businesses with an approximate residential population of 17,048, according to statistics provided by the City of Newport.

Newport also provides fire protection to the neighboring city of Woodlawn. In 2018, Newport firefighters made 1,681 runs in response to fires.

In other items Monday night:

-The Board reappointed City Commissioner Beth Fennell as representative to the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

-Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims was appointed as an alternate to the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments from the City of Newport.

Tom Fromme

-The Board authorized Fromme to enter agreements with Custom Design Benefits to act as the City of Newport’s third-party administrator with various insurance companies, and with Dental Plus to provide for the City of Newport’s employees’ health and dental needs.

-Fromme reminded everyone that the Newport SkyWheel project is a private undertaking with developers, not the City of Newport. “A lot of people think it’s a city project, and it’s not,” he said. “That’s a private project. We get periodic questions about it.”

The Newport SkyWheel will stand more than 230-feet tall with 30 climate-controlled gondolas. It will be mounted on a pier extending out toward the Ohio River. The project is expected to be finished in the spring.

The Newport Board of Commissioners will next convene in a regular meeting on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.

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