The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen are looking at purchasing a new fire truck.
Although the Smithville Volunteer Fire Departments trucks have been well maintained over the years, Chief Charlie Parker says it’s time to replace one of them because of its age.
He is asking that the city buy a new Pierce Impel PUC Rescue Pumper, a combination fire engine/rescue vehicle to replace the fire department’s oldest fire truck, a 1992 model, as well as a 20 year old rescue truck and service truck.
According to Chief Parker, a new combination fire truck/rescue vehicle would be more efficient and economical and possibly require less manpower. The cost is $751,575 and the truck would be equipped with five air packs and other tools and features. “The vehicle we currently have (in mind) still has most of the key elements we are trying to incorporate into the truck. It has an increased pump capacity over what we have. It also allows us to have a bigger water flow and it adds foam capabilities that we don’t currently have. With this we could foam the runaway at the airport and for fuel fires and spills especially from large tanker trucks that come through town. It is also upgrading to a safer vehicle with more up to date features for our responders,” said Chief Parker during Monday night's monthly city council meeting.
The city has the money to buy the truck from surplus reserves and $100,000 is set aside in this year’s budget toward the purchase. However Pierce offers a two year and five year lease purchase plan with interest. The two year plan would require annual payments of $376,679. The five year option would call for payment of $158,072 in five year installments. If the city chooses a lease purchase arrangement, the first payment would not be due until next January.
Chief Parker said in order to get the truck at today’s price ($751,575) the city must act before the end of January because the price of the truck is going up next month. However the mayor and aldermen choose to pay for the new fire truck, it would still be up to a year before the city could take delivery of the truck.
During Monday night’s meeting, the mayor and aldermen decided to delay a decision on which funding option to take until a work shop/special meeting on Monday, January 23. The workshop will begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by the meeting at 6:00 p.m. at city hall.
Once a new fire truck is in the fleet, the city plans to sell the 1992 truck along with the rescue truck and service truck
The fire department has three fire trucks, a 1992 and 2001 model along with a 2012 ladder truck.