Backus council: Fire department gets new truck

A new fire truck was a large topic of discussion at the Aug. 3 regular Backus Council Meeting. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

The Backus Fire Department will buy a new truck for $45,000.

The department sought approval from the city council through Clerk Ann Swanson before the Monday, Aug. 3, regular meeting, but the council discussed the truck and future plans at the meeting.

The 2002 Freightliner four-door apparatus has 16,000 miles on it. The new truck has a much larger cab than either of the existing trucks, accommodating up to five firefighters rather than three. It also prepares the department to populate the hub station being constructed in Ponto Lake Township once the building is complete.

This new truck will stay in Backus, but one of the other apparatus will move to the hub building. The department is also keeping an eye out for another water truck so that one of the water trucks can also be moved to the hub station.

The council directed Swanson to create a 10-year contract with Ponto Lake as well, since the township's contract with Pine River expired in July. Previously, the township contracted with Pine River for part of its protection services and Backus for the rest. Now the township will contract with Backus exclusively for 10 years at least.


In other business Monday, the council:

  • Reviewed a quote for installation of a security light at the Head Start building for $2,900. The council asked Swanson to see if Head Start will contribute to the cost.
  • Decided to consult with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to determine whether moving the Backus Municipal Airport runway 500 feet back would alleviate some of the obstruction issues with trees on a private citizen's property and the Evergreen Cemetery property.
  • Directed Swanson to share the city's average power usage for April through June in past years with the Pine Mountaineers Senior Citizens Center. The center provided power for the city garages during that period of time this year after ice damaged a connection on the roof.
  • Asked Swanson to consult with the city's insurance issuer before giving permission for a 5K run held by Foothills Christian Academy. If the city has no liability, the council has no problem with the event.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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