The city’s governing body early last week appropriated $2.9 million to purchase five new fire engines. Fire officials have said the new engines will replace outdated equipment, some of which 10 to 20 years old.
Making the case before the city council a week prior to the purchase approval, Michael Postorino, fire chief, said the five Pierce Arrow XT Pumpers, which will be supplied by Pierce Manufacturing of Appleton, Wisconsin, will replace one engine from 1989, two from 1999, and an additional two from 2002.
The city is leasing the engines over a 10-year period. Each year the city will pay the company $288,256 beginning October of 2015, said Postorino. After the 10-year period ends the city will have the option to purchase the five vehicles with a nominal fee of $1 – one-dollar.
At the conclusion of the decade long lease the city will have paid $2,479,079 in principal plus $403,477 in interest, according to a city document. In total, the city will spend $2,882,556 for the five engines.
Postorino told the council the lease amount is cheaper than the amount the city has been spending to repair the five antiquated vehicles. The chief said the city presently spends somewhere around $300,000 in repair costs to keep the vehicles in service. “Those costs are not going to go down they are going to continue to go up,” Postorino told council members.
The chief reckoned it makes little sense to spend thousands of dollars to repair obsolete vehicles when the city saves $50,000 by entering into a lease agreement at the end of which it obtains the five vehicles at no cost.
He said the new vehicles will require minimum maintenance for the first five years, for the vehicles are brand new.
Council members approved the purchase during a regular meeting of the council on Tuesday.