Fire truck purchase highlights brief agenda

Saturday, June 28, 2008

By Russ Mitchell

Daily Reporter Staff

Members of the Spencer City Council will consider a $295,000 equipment purchase as part of brief meeting at 5:15 p.m. Monday at council chambers in City Hall.

Spencer Fire Chief Doug Duncan is asking council members to authorize the purchase of a demo Smeal Freedom top-mount pumper and Spartan Big Easy custom four-door chassis for a total cost not to exceed $295,000.

The base cost of the pumper and chassis is $267,150, which is approximately $30,000 under the normal sticker price. The remainder of the cost would be used to equip the new truck.

"We'd had it in our capital improvement plan for this next fiscal year," Duncan said. "We were looking around and came across a good-priced demo unit, so that's why it's fast-tracked."

The Spencer City Council Public Safety Committee reviewed the potential truck purchase during the 2008-09 budget discussions and voted to recommend approval.

The new pumper truck will replace a 1987 unit. The 21-year-old fire truck will go into reserve status, which helps the Spencer Fire Department on its insurance rating. It will stay on reserve status for five years, when another truck in the fleet needs to be replaced.

"What that allows us to do is it gives us more pumping capacity, which is what the Insurance Service Organization looks at when they rate a fire department for a community," Duncan said.

In other action, the council will conduct the second reading of an ordinance change regarding vegetation control notices. Fagen, in a memo to council members, said the proposed ordinance clarifies the procedure for notifying property owners who are in violation of the vegetation control.

The new budget year begins July 1 and council members will hear recaps from department heads whose offices exceeded their original budgetary authority.

"You officially approved the additional costs when you held a public hearing and ultimately approved the budget amendment," Fagen said.

The cost overruns were attributed to rising fuel costs, snow removal and to fix traffic control lights that were damaged due to lightning. The budget changes were made on behalf of the public works-street division, the central garage and communications center as well as the campground and aquatic center.

A Progress and Development meeting follows at 5:30 p.m.

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