Petoskey (MI) Ponders How to Purchase Fire Apparatus

As city officials seek funding to cover big-ticket fire equipment needs, a new public safety tax levy is one approach that city council members see offering potential.

But before firming up a decision to seek the needed voter approval for that tax, council members noted at a Monday meeting that many details remain to sort through.

City staff have noted several short-term fire equipment needs that could carry a combined price tag of about $1.5-1.7 million. Of these, a replacement for the city’s 31-year-old, 100-foot aerial platform truck would be the costliest, with a price estimated at $1-1.2 million.

They also hope to replace three other fire trucks dating back to the 1980s and early ’90s with a single new vehicle, and swap outdated firefighter breathing apparatus for newer devices. In a recent written report, staff also noted that the city should begin planning how to fund other fire truck replacements that will be needed in the 2020s or early 2030s.

Along with a tax levy targeted specifically for public safety purposes, staff noted another tax option for which the city could approach voters: an override of the state’s Headlee limitations on city tax rates.

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