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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Natick's early Christmas gift: a big red fire truck

NATICK

Natick citizens attending the first day of Town Meeting last night saw politics and cross-town cooperation in action as they entered Wilson Middle School.

Several campaign volunteers lined up under an awning on the rainy night holding signs for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Deval Patrick and incumbent state Rep. David Linsky. Linsky, who is facing GOP challenger William Whittlesey, greeted Town Meeting members with a handshake and thanked them for their public service.

Of course, that's par for the course about three weeks from Election Day. (Whittlesey did the same thing a week earlier at the Natick town government open house.)

A more startling sight was the presence of a Town of Weston fire truck sitting outside. Once inside, Town Meeting voted unanimously to purchase the Emergency-One rescue truck, valued at $165,000, along with $208,130 worth of equipment from Weston for a mere $80,000.

Natick Fire Chief Gene Sabourin called it "a phenomenal opportunity" to get the truck at that price. But Weston's getting a pretty good deal, too. Weston actually received the truck and equipment at no cost from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority so the town could provide emergency support for the authority's aqueduct repair. Weston no longer needs it. Natick will continue to let Weston use the truck in emergencies as part of the purchase agreement between the towns.

The truck has only got about 3,000 miles on it, Sabourin said, much of that accumulated on the drive from Ocala, Fl. to Weston, Ma., to deliver it.

-- John C. Drake

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