Dalton Expects July Delivery of Ladder Truck

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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DALTON, Mass. — The Fire District is projected to have its new ladder truck delivered in five weeks, the interim Fire Chief Chris Cachat said during the Fire District meeting on Tuesday night. 
As of last week, the truck was in the paint shop, Cachat said. 
The ladder truck has been completely refurbished from the ground up. Since the start of the project Northern Fire Equipment has had people leave, which set them back on a lot of their projects, Cachat said. 
Water Commissioner Michael Kubicki questioned the expected delivery date saying that when he spoke to the owner of Northern Fire Equipment, he informed him that it would be delivered at the end of May and that there was only one other truck ahead of them in line.
Cachat said the owner told him last week that the truck ahead of Dalton in line was completed but that Northern Fire Equipment is now experiencing staffing issues. 
The uncertainty about the fire truck stemmed from not knowing where it was due to a communication problem with the former Fire Chief James Peltier and the time issues with the company refurbishing the vehicle, commission Chair James Driscoll said following the meeting.
"We have talked fully with the people up in Watertown (N.Y.). They have assured us it's there. We can call up anytime we want and see it and any questions we have, we can directly talk to them now. So we're comfortable with what's going on with the truck," Driscoll said.
The Dalton Fire Department sidelined its 32-year old ladder truck in 2022 due to mechanical and safety concerns and has been loaning a truck from the Boston Fire Department. The new ladder truck is from 2000. 
The Boston Fire Department has replacement trucks that will lend them out to other fire companies in the state, Driscoll said. 
Peltier had connections there so that the Dalton could get a loaned ladder truck. 
The district has not been paying to use the truck but the Boston Fire Department will call at some point requesting it back, Driscoll said.
Hopefully the new ladder truck comes in before the district needs to return the Boston truck "but if it's not, then we have to send it back," he said. 
The town purchased its new ladder truck for about $100,000, including having it refurbished. Normally a ladder truck can cost a million and a half to $2 million, Cachat said. 
Although Cachat has only seen pictures of the truck, he said when it comes close to the truck being ready for delivery he plans to drive the 4 1/2 hour ride to Buffalo, N.Y., to "OK everything" before it's delivered.  
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Pittsfield ZBA Grants Casella Permit for Waste Transfer Facility

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals calls Casella's planned redevelopment of the former trash incinerator an improvement to the site.

Last week, the panel approved a special permit to allow a waste transfer facility at the site on 500 Hubbard Ave. Casella Waste Management purchased the waste transfer facility on Hubbard Avenue from Community Eco Power LLC, which filed for bankruptcy in 2021 and has demolished it for redevelopment into a waste transfer station.

The owners say the trash will be brought to the facility and transferred away daily. Concerns that were voiced about the project include odor and impacts to the surrounding area but Casella says the new operation will be less of an impact than the former.

"I think this is going to be a vast improvement based upon the facility that was there previously. I know that sometimes you would get a sight of the other one, they used to dump the waste and it was laying like a floating pond," board member John Fitzgerald said.

"And since the trash is not going to be there, it's going to be in and out, I think the odor will be reduced and I think the vermin will be reduced."

It was also pointed out that the site has handled trash for 40 years.

"I think a lot of the odor before was related to burning," board member Esther Anderson "And there's not going to be burning so it it's going to be greatly reducing the amount of odor and if it's not sitting there is no place for vermin to be."

The former incinerator, including a 118-foot tall stack, has already been demolished a fabric structure is being used temporarily for waste handling.

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