Lawrence KS Approves Purchase of New Fire Apparatus

One new $970,000 fire truck is on the way for Lawrence (KS), but whether the city will fulfill a 2008 campaign plan to buy a whole fleet remains uncertain.

Lawrence city commissioners unanimously approved a $972,525 bid for a new Pierce quint fire engine.

The new fire truck is the fourth new fire engine commissioners have approved since voters passed a 2008 infrastructure sales tax that was sold to voters, in part, with the idea that $500,000 a year for the next 10 years would be set aside for fire truck purchases.

As part of the 2012 budget, commissioners approved a re-shuffling of the multi-year spending plan for the 0.3 percent infrastructure sales tax approved by voters in 2008. Under the new plan, just $600,000 will be set aside for fire truck purchases between 2013 and 2018 — or, in other words, about $2.4 million less than what was anticipated when voters approved the sales tax. Much of the money once planned for fire equipment is scheduled to go to increased street maintenance.

The original sales tax plan called for 10 new pieces of fire equipment to be purchased over the 10-year life of the sales tax. Officially, the plan still calls for that.

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