Martin Fire Chief ‘frustrated’ with newest truck engine

Martin Township Fire Chief Earl Wykstra expressed frustration to the Township Board Wednesday night about the newest fire truck.

Wykstra said the vehicle, which has only about 4,000 miles on it, has had several mechanical problems with the Jake brake and with the “check engine” light constantly coming on. He said he’s been in contact the engine manufacturer, Cummins of Grand Rapids, but he’s still not satisfied with the performance.

Township Supervisor Glenn Leep told the chief, “It’s OK to complain about it, but they (Cummins) need to come forward with a plan (to fix the problems).”

Wykstra said, “It’s very frustrating. It’s got me at wit’s end,” noting the vehicle is not in operation at the local station too often because it’s undergoing inspection or repairs. “But Cummins is about the only one around here that makes truck motors any more.”

Trustee Jack Sipple noted that Martin’s last two fire trucks have had too many problems. Wykstra suggested the number actually is three.

In other business at its meeting Wednesday night, the Martin Township Board:

• Learned from JC Wheeler Library representative Alice Kelsey that the local library will be host for a special solar eclipse party Monday, Aug. 21. She said the festivities should get under way at about 12:30 p.m. in downtown Martin and the library has about 100 solar glasses for use.

• Approved the appointment of Sara Lynema as a second Martin Township representative on Wayland Area Emergency Services Board. A volunteer for WAEMS for the past 11 years, she joins Stuart Leep on the board.

• Agreed to have Clerk Rachelle Smit get in touch with Consumers Power local representative Dennis McGee or send a letter to the company asking for recovery of damages Sipple incurred on his chopper while moving over an abandoned utility pole.

• Approved the appointment of new firefighter Bradley Gunderson, but learned another prospective new firefighter, Craig Taylor, withdrew from consideration because he couldn’t find suitable housing. Wykstra said the department is four people short of full strength with the recent resignation of Vonda Evers.

• Approved a slight increase in usage and hookup fees for customers of the Gun Lake Area Sewer Authority, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

• Agreed to have a second dust control application for 122nd Avenue from 10th to Sixth Streets, for Seventh Street south of 124th Avenue and for Ninth Street south of 122nd. Trustee Jim Brenner said recent rains have helped keep most dust issues this summer to a minimum.

• Adopted a resolution to ask to the Allegan County Road Commission reinstate its policy of sharing 50-50 with local municipalities the cost of repairing or installing culverts. Hopkins Township Supervisor Mark Evans instigated the action county-wide and Dorr and Watson Townships already have agreed.

PHOTOS: Earl Wykstra

Sara Lynema



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