02/06/2020- The Marinette Fire Department will be better equipped to take on water-related emergencies following the purchase of a new airboat. Common Council considered the acquisition of a used airboat Tuesday. The total price of the one-year-old watercraft is just under $150000, but private donors have stepped up to help offset that cost and Marinette County’s decision to fully fund the new Bearcat that was previously going to be split with the City left up to $90000 available to cover the rest of the price of the boat. Fire Chief Jay Heckel says the new airboat has more capability and better maneuverability, making it more reliable in challenging or icy water conditions than their current hovercraft.
Representatives of the boat’s manufacturer say they will offer the City the same one-year warranty that comes with the purchase of a new model. Council approved allocating $74500 for the cost of the boat itself and up to a total of $90000 to include maintenance and equipment.