New Port Richey (FL) in Need of New Fire Apparatus

New Port Richey (FL) Fire Chief Alex Onishenko said in a budget session that the department’s fleet is falling apart and in need of a new fire truck.

Three of the city’s four fire trucks — including a ladder unit — have broken down recently, leaving the department with only one truck in service, Onishenko told the City Council.

“I’m almost embarrassed to talk about it. I don’t know how we can keep doing this,” he said.

Two of the broken-down vehicles were purchased in the 1990s and could be out of commission for weeks for repairs. Onishenko estimated it would cost the city around $400,000 for a new engine and $750,000 for a new ladder truck.

In the meantime, Onishenko said he will rely on backup from Pasco County should an emergency arise where his crew will need more than one truck.

Deputy Mayor Bill Phillips asked Onishenko to present options to the council for finding funds for a truck. He also said the council may need to re-examine enacting a fire special assessment in the city, an idea the council tabled in May. Phillips added that possible “rainy day” reserves could be tapped into.

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