ROCKLAND — The City Council gave initial approval Monday night to ask voters if they want to borrow up to $800,000 for a new fire truck.

Fire Chief Christopher Whytock appeared before the City Council Wednesday night. Jan. 4 to ask that Councilors hold a bond referendum to buy a pumper truck. He estimated the cost to be between $700,000 and $800,000. On Monday night, Jan. 9, Councilors voted 4-0 to give preliminary approval to hold a bond referendum in June to borrow up to $800,000.

The chief said the department has applied for grants for the past three to four years from the Federal Emergency Management Agency but has not been successful. City Manager Tom Luttrell said the city would continue to seek grants to help offset the cost.

Whytock said the state of the current fire department fleet is OK, but it takes two to three years to receive a truck once you decide to buy it. The oldest pumper in the fleet is a 1991 model. The company that manufactured it has gone out of business, the chief noted.

The next oldest is a 1999 model that he said he does not expect to last much longer.

The chief said that the trade-in value of the older trucks will be minimal.

The next citywide election will be the June one when the school district budget will be voted on.