It's like the flotsom and jetsom of life that never goes away; stored out of sight but, suddenly, in the way, as far as the City of Hope is concerned. What to do?
The Hope City Board of Directors is faced with that question in the form of a 1948 Seagraves Ladder Truck, bought new for the Hope Fire Department, but taken out of service in 1987; and, now merely so many tons of metal that is simply in the way.
The fire engine red of the exterior may have lost its sheen over the years in storage in the former National Guard Armory, but the H.F. D. stencilled onto the hood is still visible.
The original brass nozzle fittings are locked away at the Hope Fire Department. The brass bell is still attached; and, a brass purchaser's identification plate with the names of then-Mayor Albert Graves and other City officials is still attached. They are not for sale.
Hope City Manager Catherine Cook said the brakes are shot; the carburator needs replacing, and the tires aren't safe. But, other than that, it runs; just not under the power of the original 12-cylinder engine, which has been replaced with an eight-cylinder engine.
Surprisingly, according to Cook, nobody wants to buy the truck.
The City has offered it for sale multiple times after it was taken out of service in 1987, when the City bought a used truck from the New York Fire Department as its replacement.
Cook suggested to the board Wednesday during a special noon session that the truck might be refurbished enough to use in local and area parades; but, nobody was terribly enthusiastic about that idea, considering the upkeep and the need to simply find some place to put the thing.
“We have one building at the City shop it would fit in, but it would still stick out about a foot,” Darrell Allen, City GIS and Technology Coordinator, told the board. “It requires about 40 feet of length to cover it.”
Cook said the City had been offered about $2,000 for the truck at one time; but, it might bring that much, at least, as scrap metal.
City Director Don Still agreed.
“It can't be considered in original condition because the engine has been replaced,” Still said. “Collectors don't buy them much, otherwise; there are just too many fire trucks. I mean, every city has at least one. Advertise it, again; and, if it doesn't sell, scrap it.”
The truck goes on the market for 30 days. After that, it's scrap.