Dexter (MO) Fire Chief Don Seymore has been exploring options to update his department’s aging fleet.
In Seymore’s research, the possibility of leasing newer trucks was discussed and is, in his opinion, the city’s best option. He said the city would be able to lease trucks for five years at an interest rate of approximately two-percent interest.
City Administrator Mark Stidham, who has been working alongside Seymore to develop the plan, says this may be the best way for the city to keep a fleet of newer, more dependable fire truck equipment at their disposal.
“We’re just trying to avoid boxing ourselves into a corner with an old fleet.,” Stidham said. “Ladder trucks start at $600,000 and can hit $1 million very fast.”
At that price tag, the city’s current method of replacement might not be possible for another 20 years,
Since 2007, the Board of Aldermen has been encumbering $50,000 per year for the purchase of fire trucks. Now the question remains whether that has been enough money for a department of their size.
That would allow them to purchase a $300,000 truck every six years. The concern is that some of the fleet, which is already 30-plus years old, could be more than 50 years old before it is put out of service.
The ladder truck alone would take 18 years to replace, with no other vehicles being replaced during that time.
The proposal for the five-year lease program is to lease a new pumper truck ($290,495) and an extrication vehicle ($307,995.)
The combined $589,000 could be paid in five, $128,000 annual payments.
One alderman has questioned why the city would not purchase just one of the vehicles. Seymore explained that the prices were quoted based on the purchase of two chassis. The purchase of only one could raise the price.
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