It wasn’t too long ago — about 25 years — the city of Moscow coughed up about $500,000 to purchase two fire engines for its volunteer fire department. One came in 1995, the other in 1993.

The two, a 1995 Pierce Dash and a 1993 Pierce Lance, rolled for thousands of miles since then, protecting the lives and property of Moscow residents.

Monday night, the Moscow City Council accepted a resolution to sell them both for $1 apiece — one to the Wheatland Fire Protection District south of Lewiston; the other to the Genesee Volunteer Fire Department.

The bargain-basement sale came after one of the fire engines had no buyers at $25,000 and later when posted at $15,000.

For essentially no cost, it’s a slam dunk for a small-town squad like Genesee or any financially strapped department that could use such a truck.

After writing, reading and editing this newspaper, we know small towns and rural areas are no stranger to fire. We think they could use all the help they can get.

But the city of Moscow didn’t get burned by this deal, either. How could it when it is improving public safety?

The pocket-change transaction brings new life to an old investment that continues to depreciate while stretching your tax dollars a little further, albeit in a different community.

The money poured in from Moscow taxpayers decades ago, and mostly forgotten, could now help save a home in Genesee or in the Wheatland Fire Protection District — two small departments that didn’t have the money to purchase new equipment.

Even if the sale doesn’t save any structure or person, to us, just providing the opportunity is priceless.

The engines will certainly do more good to communities that need them than $15,000 could do for the city of Moscow.

And neighbors should always have each other’s backs.

— Josh Babcock, for the editorial board

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