Letters to the Editor

Bill Barkman: Engine helps Atwater’s future

Atwater’s proposed pumper-ladder engine is thinkable only because of the passage of Measure H. Without that guaranteed cash flow, no one would have offered Atwater affordable, long-term lease rates. Police Chief Frank Pietro and Fire Battalion Chief Mark Pimentel have obviously assessed and prioritized needs, looked at long-term objectives and collaborated on a strategy that is broad in scope. Roughly 89 percent is going to police officers and their equipment.

This new engine remedies existing risk management issues that are being pushed to the point where outdated and uncertifiable fire equipment threatens community safety. For whatever reason, some council members and local citizens don’t (or don’t want to) understand the outcomes of inaction. As a former business person managing major retail expansion and relocation projects, we always looked at a community’s public safety net. We looked at their equipment and their history of kept or broken promises. Their insurance rating was very important because that rating directly influenced our risk-management costs.

Let’s look past the reasonable cost of one affordable piece of equipment to the long-term benefits. New business, motivated to come to Atwater, will bring revenues and pay fees that build our financial strength; their presence will lower our nearly 18 percent unemployment.