Oneonta (NY) Prepares to Buy $1 Million Fire Apparatus

The Oneonta Common Council will consider a motion Tuesday to buy a new million-dollar ladder truck that could be delivered to the Oneonta Fire Department this year.

The motion will be to buy a truck from Ferrara Fire Apparatus, near Baton Rouge, La., for $1,092,519, officials said. The vehicle would replace the city’s 1987 ladder truck.

The Council’s Finance/Administration Committee reviewed details of the purchase during a meeting at City Hall on Monday.

Meg Hungerford, city director of finance, said state Dormitory Authority officials, who are administering state grants for the purchase of a truck, recently notified the municipality that it may proceed with steps to buy a vehicle.

The Dormitory Authority is managing two $250,000 state grants, one from Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, and another from Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, according to Hungerford.

The city had planned to set aside $200,000 from the general fund each year between 2014 and 2018 toward the cost of a fire truck, she said. The planned amounts were set aside last and this year, according to Hungerford, who recommended $192,519 be taken from the general fund to meet the balance.

After paperwork and approvals are completed, the fire truck may be delivered in 100 days, because the fire department has already been working with the manufacturer on custom-fit details, Fire Chief Patrick Pidgeon said. Standard delivery is 120 days, he said.

The Common Council and city officials have been debating replacing the fire department’s 1987 95-foot ladder truck for months, among discussions about the status of the department’s aging fleet.

On Tuesday, the Council also will consider a motion to buy a replacement ambulance, which had been scheduled to be done last year. A Dewar Foundation grant of $165,000 toward an ambulance has been made, city officials said.

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