Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2007

Council OKs truck purchase

August 30, 2007

It won't be new, but the city will have a replacement for its oldest fire truck.

The council voted unanimously to purchase the pump truck from a dealer in Springfield, Mo., for $71,750. The city will trade in its current truck for $15,000.

The truck, a 1987 Pierce Lance, has a capacity of 1,000 gallons of water and can carry 10 firefighters. The truck it replaces only carries two firefighters.

The council went ahead with the purchase after examining the possibility of buying a ladder upgrade instead.

Eudora City Fire Chief Randy Ates originally approached the council during its Aug. 13 meeting with the possibility of buying a combination ladder and pump fire truck.

The combination would have fit into the department's long-range plans, Ates said.

The council pondered the possibility of bonding what was estimated to be at least a $300,000 truck.

The council at that time gave Ates, permission to look into the purchase of the combination truck as well as looking at altering the fire station to make it fit.

When Ates returned to the council, he reported the renovations wouldn't be able to work.

"I think I need to change my recommendation," Ates said.

The first challenge came from the fact a seven-foot extension needed to fit the truck inside the garage would have caused sight-line problems on Main Street. The procedure also would have been too expensive.

Architect Tom Arpin with BG Consultants estimated it would cost the city $40,000 to make the needed improvements.

Instead, Ates suggested the city buy a newer pump truck.

"It's a good short-term measure to cover up the problems we have now," Ates said.

The Lance beat out two other options.

The first option was out of state. The second Ates described as rust covered by a new paint job.

"This truck actually panned out," Ates said referring to the truck in Missouri.

The city's current truck has had several issues during the year and uses an obscure transmission system, Ates said.

"It broke down multiple times in the last two months," Ates said.

Ates sent the city mechanic to see the newer truck first-hand.

"The city mechanic went there and crawled all over this truck and he said we're getting a bargain," Ates said. "As to the other one, he crawled out shaking his head."

The cost of the truck will come out of the city's contingency fund.

"If you need one, you need one," council member Fred Stewart said.

The purchase makes sense because the city will look into the construction of a new fire station within the next 10 years, Ates said after the meeting.

"We need to have twice as many people and we need to have twice as much equipment because the town is going to be twice the size," Ates said.

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