The Brownwood Fire Department will be getting a new fire truck with a 100′ ladder after city council members approved the purchase at a city council meeting.
According to City Manager Bobby Rountree, the current 1997 model Quint has had many recent and costly repairs, and currently needs approximately $40,000 in repair after it was struck by a semi-truck at a traffic accident a few weeks ago and could be out of service for up to four months or longer.
“We have discussed the replacement of this 17-year-old truck during the budget work sessions the past couple of years and were hopeful it could remain on the front-line for one more year,” said Rountree. “As with most 17 year old vehicles, the 1997 Quint had become unreliable and costly to keep in service. The new truck will provide the reliability necessary to allow fire & rescue to continue to provide safety services to the residents, businesses and industry of Brownwood.”
Brownwood Fire Department officials, including Chief Del Albright, Assistant Chief Grady Shuey and driver Matt Campbell have been involved in searching for a new fire truck and have located a demo from Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc. on a Buy Board contract price of $970,000. The truck (pictured above) is very similar to the 1997 Quint; however, is an upgrade with a longer 100′ ladder with a bucket (rather than 75′) and it has a dual axel chassis which supports the weight of the truck and its equipment better (rather than a single axle). A new truck would cost more than $1.2 million, would take approximately 300 days to build and prices are expected to increase 5-7% after January 1, 2015. Ferrara has agreed to make certain modifications requested by Chief Albright at no additional cost and can deliver the vehicle within 30 days, according to Rountree.
The $970,000 purchase will be financed through a 7-year capital lease with Citizen’s National Bank. Three quarterly payments totaling $112,000 would be made during the current fiscal year with funds provided by the Brown County Water Improvement District buy-in, which totaled $822,087. (The Cities of Early and Zephyr became official water customers of BCWID in August after paying a “buy-in” lump-sum amount based on a share of the bond payments already made by current BCWID customers. This “buy-in” payment was reimbursed to current customers Brownwood, Brookesmith and Bangs.) There will be 6 ¼ years of payments remaining in future years with annual payments of approximately $150,000, which would be included in future years’ budgets.
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